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The University of Virginia Anatomy Laboratory Lantern Slides collection

Identifier: MS-55

Scope and Contents

This collection is divided into two series. The first series, "Keystone View Company anatomy slides", is a nearly complete set of 3 x 5 inch lantern slides that depict black-and-white photographic images showing various parts of human anatomy. The Keystone View Company most likely produced and sold this slide set sometime between 1920 and 1950. The second series, "Cephalapagus presentation slides", consists of 3 x 5 inch lantern slides that were used in a presentation at an academic conference. The presentation was titled, "Dissection of a Human Craniopagus Parietalis". The presentation was given by Robert B. Moore and Arthur H. Wasser of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1959 at the annual meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science.


  • Creation: 1920 - 1965

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for materials in Series I: Keystone View Company anatomy slides, has been assigned to the University of California Regents and is administered by University of California Riverside-California Museum of Photography (UCR-CMP). All requests for permission to publish reproductions from photographs or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to UCR-CMP.

The reproduction rights for materials in Series II: Cephalopagus presentation slides, are owned by an unknown individual, group, or institution. The University of Virginia does not have the right to publish or grant permission to publish these materials.

Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Historical Information for Anatomy Education at the University of Virginia

Since its first session in 1825, the University of Virginia has included the study of human anatomy in its medical curriculum. The University has constructed a number of anatomical theatres and laboratories to support this study. It also has purchased educational tools and media for use in anatomy classrooms. During the early twentieth century, lantern slides produced by the Keystone View Company and other manufacturers were one kind of educational media that was used to support the instruction of human anatomy at the University of Virginia.

Historical Information for the Keystone View Company

The Keystone View Company, established in 1892 by amateur photographer B.L. Singley, was a distributor of stereographic images and lantern slides. At the height of its success, the Keystone View Company dominated the stereographic image market, operated branch offices in multiple cities, and sent photographers to all corners of the globe.

B.L. Singley initially founded the Keystone View Company in Meadville, Pennsylvania as a vehicle for mass producing and distributing prints of his own photographic works. Six years after the company's founding, Keystone began to produce stereographic images and would rapidly become a leader in this form of media.

By 1905, the Keystone View Company had become a world leader in stereoscopic imagery and sold nearly 20,000 views depicting a wide range of subjects. However, company leaders recognized that popular demand for stereoscopic images would decline as motion pictures became more widely available to the public and sought a new market for their product. Ultimately, the Keystone View Company decided to enter the educational products market. Between 1905 and 1963, the company produced hundreds of educational lantern slide and stereograph sets and aggressively marketed them directly to schools including the University of Virginia.

In 1963, the Keystone View Company, plagued by declining sales, was bought by the Mast Development Company. The Mast Development Company later donated the archives of the Keystone View Company, which consists of over 350,000 photographic and print items, to the University of California Riverside, where they reside today.


6.4 Linear Feet


Materials in the first series "Keystone View Company anatomy slides" are arranged in numerical order according to numbers assigned to the slides by their manufacturer. Materials in the second series "Cephalophagus presentation slides" are arranged according to their original order at the time of the collection's acquisition by the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library.

Acquisition Information

Dr. John Herr found the collection in a University of Virginia School of Medicine Anatomy Laboratory and transferred it to the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library in 2014.

Physical Description

7 boxes with the dimensions of 4.5 inches x 3.5 inches x 10.5 inches


Processed by:
Historical Collections Staff
A Guide to the University of Virginia Anatomy Laboratory Lantern Slides Collection, circa 1920-1965
A Collection in Historical Collections, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, MS-55
© 2014 By the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. All rights reserved.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library Repository

Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue
P.O. Box 800722
Charlottesville Virginia 22908-0722 United States