Virgil Mirano 3D photography collection
The Virgil Mirano 3D photography collection contains books, magazines, and promotional material that incorporate 3D images; 3D photography viewers and glasses; 3D comic books; and Mirano's files on 3D imaging products, services, workshops, and conferences. The collection material spans from 1935 to 2018, with the bulk of the material created between 1970 and 2000.
- 1935 - 2018
- Majority of material found within 1970 - 2000
- Mirano, Virgil (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Advance notice required for access.
Conditions Governing Use
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Biographical / Historical
An extensive collection of materials related to 3D images from the library of Virgil Mirano (1937-2018), the cinematographer and visual effects specialist best known for his work on Die Hard (1988), Blade Runner (1982), and Masters of the Universe (1987). From the mid-1970s through the '90s, Mirano manned the still photography labs of three of the largest visual effects (VFX) houses in Los Angeles. He documented the people and the techniques of a variety of films - images that would serve as an inspiration for a whole new corps of artists now working in the industry. Mirano did more than just take snapshots of the crew. He was a master of the camera and printer. For example, Mirano is responsible for the Polaroid of Zhora that Deckard's Esper machine prints for him in Blade Runner , having developed a technique of distorting a 35mm image, then adding grain, and converting it to a Polaroid print. Remarkably, Mirano accomplished this effect in a darkroom without using a computer.
The history of 3D images begins in the 1830s with the invention of the stereoscope. Initially considered a scientific device, the stereoscope soon entered popular culture as Victorian audiences became fascinated with stereo photographs depicting faraway lands, colossal monuments, current events, and comic scenes. 3D motion picture technology followed in the 20th century, along with consumer products such as View Masters and Stereo Realist cameras. These technologies led to lenticular printing and holography, which generate dimensional effects without the aid of glasses.
[See links under "External Documents" for biographical/historical sources]
6.65 Linear Feet (10 boxes)
Language of Materials
The Virgil Mirano 3D photography collection comprises the library of Virgil Mirano (1937-2018), the cinematographer and visual effects specialist best known for his work on Die Hard (1988), Blade Runner (1982), and Masters of the Universe (1987). The collection contains books, magazines, and promotional material that incorporate 3D images; 3D photography viewers and glasses; 3D comic books; and Mirano's files on imaging products, services, and events -- all of which document the development of 3D imaging processes from 1935 to 2018.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Johnson Rare Books and Archives, May 13, 2019.
- 3-D films -- Archival resources
- 3-D video (Three-dimensional imaging) -- California -- Los Angeles -- Archival resources
- Cinematography -- Special effects -- Archival resources
- Comic books
- Magazines (periodicals)
- Mirano, Virgil -- Archives
- Photography -- Special effects -- Archival resources
- Promotional materials
- Slide viewers (hand held devices)
- Three-dimensional display systems -- Archival resources
- Three-dimensional imaging -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century -- Archival resources
- Finding aid for the Virgil Mirano 3D photography collection
- Bo Doub
- 2019 July
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States