A rare piece of history returns home to Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate

An old stereograph of the profile of a man standing.

The stereograph was given back to the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation from the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center. | Photo by LEXtoday

Through a 30+ year partnership with the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center, the Henry Clay Foundation has been able to preserve numerous historical items and family papers, including one that was returned to the historic estate yesterday.

In a few weeks, a rare 19th century recreated stereograph of Aaron Dupuy, an enslaved person to the Clay family, will be on display at Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate.

Curator Eric Brooks said a piece like this is rare as you don’t often find clear images of enslaved people. They typically only see silhouettes or vague images.

So, what is a stereograph? Think about the old-school red viewfinders — where two photos are viewed together to make an early form of a 3-D photo.

Eric added that by having this piece, “we are able to expand the public’s opportunity to know, to understand, and to learn, which is always a great thing.”