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Banks McLaurin, Jr. Stereograph Collection

DeGolyer Library


About the Collection

San Fernando Cathedral, Front, ca. 1885-1890, by Fred Hardesty

The Banks McLaurin, Jr. Stereograph Collection, held by SMU's DeGolyer Library, consists of approximately 9,000 stereographs, and related 3-D items, ca. 1851-1930. A finding aid to the Banks McLaurin, Jr. Stereograph Collection is available.

Banks McLaurin, Jr. (1924-2003) began collecting stereographs and 3-D materials after he retired from a career in the petroleum industry. His interests were broad, and the collection contains stereoscopic views by hundreds of photographers and publishers from the United States with some regional Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and views by many foreign photographers. Specialized subjects include: agriculture, industry, humor, floral, world's fairs and expositions, political figures, and wars: the American Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Boer War, etc. Stereos are in such various formats as flat mounts, curved mounts, tissues, and chromolithographs. The collection includes boxed travel sets by Keystone, Underwood & Underwood, H.C. White, and others, magic lantern slides, stereoscopes, View-Master and True-Vue viewers, and books.

An increasing number of the stereoviews are being made available in the Banks McLaurin, Jr. Stereograph Collection digital collection. DeGolyer Library digital collections are part of CUL Digital Collections, which contain thousands of digitized photographs, manuscripts, imprints, and works of art held by SMU's Central University Libraries special collections.  

Holdings and Highlights

Ypres Cathedral in Ruins, British Lory [sic] in Foreground, ca. 1914-1918The Banks McLaurin, Jr. stereograph collection consists of approximately 9,000 stereographs, boxed travel sets, magic lantern slides, True-Vue reels, View-Master cards, 36 stereoscopes, viewers, a wooden stereo cabinet, books and back issues of Stereo World, ca. 1851-1930. The collection is arranged by state, country and subject. There are flat mount, curved mount, tissue and lithograph reproduction stereos (lithos) in the collection.

McLaurin collected in the following categories: American states, expositions, events, humor, people, foreign countries, war and disasters, agriculture, and industry. He collected approximately 9,000 stereo cards from a total of 106 countries. Besides views from around the world in various subject areas, he also sought stereos by different photographers, amassing views by roughly 800 image-makers. Some of his favorite stereos were the early, delicate French tissues.

Searching for the Dead among the Ruins, Galveston, Texas, U.S.A., September 9, 1900

The collection is organized into 19 series:

Cowboys' Camp - Mess Wagon in Background, on a Texas Cattle Ranch U.S.A., 1905

Digital Collections Guidelines and Procedures

Items in Central University Library Digital Collections are digitized following the SMU Central University Libraries Digitization Guidelines and Procedures. Digital collections are created under the guidelines of the SMU CONTENTdm Guide: Framework for Building a Collection, or through specialized metadata profiles tailored for the collection.


Copyright usage terms vary throughout the collection. Each item contains information about usage terms. If SMU does not have the right to publish the item on the Internet, only the item's metadata will be available and the digitized object will be available on a restricted access basis. Such items may only be viewed on campus. When items are available for use, please cite DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University. A high-quality version of these files may be obtained for a fee by contacting

Contact Info

For more information about the collection, please contact