The Hilgard O'Reilly Sternberg Photography digital collection offers a unique visual representation of landscapes and cultures around the world in the 1980s and 1990s, with an emphasis on Brazil, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific.
Hilgard O'Reilly Sternberg, a specialist in Amazonian geography, spent his career studying the Amazon River’s physical geography, ecology, anthropology, history, and politics. With a focus on human impacts on the natural environment, he promoted the protection of the Amazon, bringing attention to deforestation and other ecological problems. He documented his work and world travels with photography, compiling an extensive slide collection that is being digitized for online access.
The images are grouped into sets based on Sternberg’s original storage system. The labels that he used for those groupings are reflected in the description for each slide set.
Sternberg was born in 1917 in Rio de Janeiro and studied geography and history at the University of Brazil and Louisiana State University. He served as the chair of geography of Brazil at the University of Brazil from 1944 through 1964, founding the Center for Research in the Geography of Brazil. In 1964, he joined the geography faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where he retired as a professor emeritus of geography in 1988. He continued to study the Amazon until shortly before his death in 2011.
Additional images from the Hilgard O'Reilly Sternberg Photography Collection are available for research upon request in the University of Miami Libraries Special Collections.