Bring the past to the future: adapting stereoscope images for use in the Oculus Go


  • Dorothy C. Ogdon Emerging Technologies Librarian, Libraries, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 250-B Lister Hill Library, 1720 Second Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294
  • Stefanie Crumpton Curator, Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences, Libraries, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1720 Second Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294



Virtual Reality, Extended Reality, Stereoscope, Museum Collection, JMLA Virtual Projects


The purpose of this project was to explore methods for adapting images originally created for the analog stereoscope to use in contemporary virtual reality headsets. The Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences holds in its collections a set of medical images for the stereoscope published by Dr. S.I. Rainforth in 1910. We scanned 3 stereoscope cards from the collection at a resolution of 1200 dots per inch, then adapted the images for use in virtual reality using Adobe Photoshop and Unity. We successfully created a working application for the Oculus Go that displays the images stereoscopically in the headset. The current application allows only static display of the images. Our next steps in developing this project will be to add images from the collection to the virtual reality application, optimize parameters related to image display, and develop scripting that would allow users to dynamically select images from the collection. More information on this project is available on the Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences Virtual Exhibits website, and a short video demonstration is available on Vimeo.

Virtual Projects are published on an annual basis in the Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) following an annual call for virtual projects in MLAConnect and announcements to encourage submissions from all types of libraries. An advisory committee of recognized technology experts selects project entries based on their currency, innovation, and contribution to health sciences librarianship.


Abdulezer L. Rendering stereoscopic images and videos for your VR scenes in Unity [Internet]. Evolving Technologies Corporation; 14 Dec 2015 [cited 10 Nov 2019]. <>.

Unity [Internet]. Unity Technologies [cited 10 Nov 2019]. <>.

Oculus Go. Developers [Internet]. Facebook Technologies [cited 10 Nov 2019]. <>.






Virtual Project