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NYPL Lets You Make GIFs From Turn-Of-The-Century Stereographs

NYPL Lets You Make GIFs From Turn-Of-The-Century Stereographs

Just because the turn of the 20th century was pre-digital doesn’t mean it has to miss out on becoming one of the web’s preeminent lo-fi artforms: the GIF. And the ghosts of history have Joshua Heineman to thank for their inclusion in this modern zoetrope. About four years ago he started making GIFs from the stereographs that were posted online by the New York Public Library, in effect bringing these old photographs to life and exposing them to a new (and potentially bigger) audience in a visual language they know and love, posting them on his blog CursiveBuildings.

And, rather than being a total dick about it and berating Heineman for stealing their content, the New York Public Library saw the benefit of what he’s done and have now teamed up with him for the mouthful-of-a-website, the Stereogranimator. At this magical place anyone can create their own GIFs or 3D anaglyphs (these look a bit like Sebastian Denz’s 3D skater photos) using over 40,000 stereographs that The New York Public Library digitized.

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

The philosopher of the Pool and his wife, Franconia Notch, N.H. 1858?-1875?

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

General view from the top of the new post office, looking west. 1872

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

[Wagon with “A. Wilson, Baker, Lawrence” on the canopy.] 1869?-1910?

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

Rolls of dressed fibre. Silk industry (spun silk), South Manchester, Conn., U.S.A. c1914 1914

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

Interior. Suspension Bridge, Niagara, N.Y. 1860?-1895?

So alongside the dancing babies and net.art abstractions, you can put twitchy pics of a spiffing turn-of-the-century gentleman tightrope walking next to a bridge. It’s really simple to do—you follow three easy steps and then you’re done. Even I managed it, as you’ll see below. Then once you’re finished you can share your GIF and sit smugly with the knowledge that you’ve bridged the gap between two disparate, but of-their-time, visual art forms.

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

[via Metafiler]