Top of page

Exhibition Not an Ostrich: & Other Images from America's Library


Panoramic views were made soon after photography’s invention by taking a series of photographs and placing them edge to edge to record a sweeping landscape or a wide city view. In the late nineteenth century, cameras were created specifically to produce seamless panoramas. These were either swing-lens cameras, where the lens rotated while the film remained stationary, or 360-degree rotation cameras, where both the camera and the film rotated. The Library of Congress has a significant collection of more than 6,000 panoramas primarily made between 1851 and 1991—ranging in size from 28 inches to more than 17 feet.