Working for the TVA

On May 18th, 1933, Congress chartered the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), beginning one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first projects of his “New Deal” social welfare programs.  Its goals were to “To improve the navigability and to provide for the flood control of the Tennessee River; to provide for reforestation and the proper use of marginal … Continue reading Working for the TVA

Sinking the Fleets of World War I

Some of the National Archives’ finest footage of the bombardment and sinking of World War I-era ships dates from after the war. In 1921, 1923, and 1931, the United States Navy, in cooperation with the Army Air Forces, bombarded American and German vessels with bombs ranging in size from 25 to 2000 pounds. These spectacles … Continue reading Sinking the Fleets of World War I

Keeping Cool with Cool Patents the 4th of July!

One of my favorite record groups is RG 241: Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, because of the dazzling displays of ingenuity! These patents, as usual, do not disappoint. Enjoy!! https://catalog.archives.gov/id/159160063RG 241: Restored Patent Drawings, 1836-1978. Patent 6558-X. J. Barron's Patent Drawing for a Mechanical Fan. NAID: 159160063. RG 241: Utility Patent Drawings, 1837-1911. … Continue reading Keeping Cool with Cool Patents the 4th of July!

Subject Finding Aid Project

While the pandemic significantly altered our day-to-day responsibilities in the Still Picture Branch, our team adapted to the challenges presented by the work-from-home environment and bolstered our Research and Reference capabilities by increasing access to our holdings, digitally and on-site.  One of the projects we’ve undertaken to help in this endeavor is the description and … Continue reading Subject Finding Aid Project

Screen shot of a presentation given by Sarah Eilers of the National Library of Medicine, who appears in a small box at the bottom right of the screen. The slide she is presenting shows a video player with a still of a film showing Gene Kelly in a Navy uniform and an unidentified woman. The slide is headed with the title of the film, "Combat Fatigue Irritability."

Films of State Conference Recordings Now Available

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently partnered with the University of Maryland’s Cinema and Media Studies Program to present Films of State: Moving Images Made by Governments, a virtual conference running from April 7 to 9, 2021, highlighting current scholarship on the topic of government films and filmmaking. This inaugural conference featured international … Continue reading Films of State Conference Recordings Now Available

Census Enumeration District Maps for 1940 and 1950 Available Digitally in Our Catalog

The Decennial Census of Population and Housing, aka ‘the census,’ counts each resident of the country every ten years. Conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Constitution mandates the enumeration to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. The first census was taken in 1790 during George Washington’s … Continue reading Census Enumeration District Maps for 1940 and 1950 Available Digitally in Our Catalog

Double Take II: Finding Posters within Photos

This post is by Daniel Dancis, a Textual Records Archivist and blogger at The Text Message. When is a photograph more than just a photograph?   Of the millions of digitized images in the National Archives Catalog it is always a thrill to find something new in an old picture. Even more, discovering a connection between two or … Continue reading Double Take II: Finding Posters within Photos

Historical Roads and Buildings in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia

Have you ever wondered what the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area looked like from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century? Thanks to the Bureau of Public Roads role in documenting road constructions, highways, building structures, etc., you are in luck. Record Group 30: Historical Photograph Files, 1896-1963 (30-N) contains … Continue reading Historical Roads and Buildings in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia

Visual Cues and Clues: Looking ON the Photo

Photograph of Researcher in the Central Search Room of the National Archives Building. 64-PR-20-1, NAID: 74228254 In this edition of Visual Cues and Clues, let’s step outside the box and explore photographs from a different angle. Instead of looking at what’s in the photograph, let’s explore what’s on the photograph. Markings, emblems, and logos sometimes … Continue reading Visual Cues and Clues: Looking ON the Photo