Celebration of Passover (Photos)

This post was written in collaboration with Meghan Ryan Guthorn. The Jewish celebration of Passover began this year on April 19th, 2019. In honor of the holiday, the Still Pictures Branch pulled together some images of servicemen celebrating Passover around the world through the years. The images below depict celebrations from 1918 to 1985, in … Continue reading Celebration of Passover (Photos)

Go Take a Hike! The Appalachian Trail Turns 96 Years Old

March 2019 marked the 96th anniversary of the opening of the first section of the Appalachian Trail which ran from Bear Mountain, New York, to Harriman State Park in Arden, New York. The brainchild of forester Benton MacKaye, the Appalachian Trail, or the “A.T.” as it is widely known, started out as an idea for … Continue reading Go Take a Hike! The Appalachian Trail Turns 96 Years Old

“A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

"A picture is worth a thousand words...." Or so the saying goes. In reality, a photograph only documents a second in time, and as time goes on, it is easy to forget why a particular moment was so important to capture. However, well-captioned photographs can tell us stories; they can give us information about the … Continue reading “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

Charleston Harbor at the Brink of War: Sketches from the RG 94, Civil War Atlas Manuscript Maps Series

The Cartographic Branch holds a large collection of Civil War maps. Two series that often get overlooked are comprised of maps associated with the publication of the Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. The first series consists of copies of the published maps, which are widely available. However, the real gem … Continue reading Charleston Harbor at the Brink of War: Sketches from the RG 94, Civil War Atlas Manuscript Maps Series

Holdings Highlight! RG 167: Submissions to the National Inventors Council

Every so often, I come across items in our holdings which are so delightfully bizarre that they have to be shared.  The drawings below come from RG 167: Submissions to the Inventor's Council.  This group was founded in 1940 as part of the Department of Commerce's Office of Technical Services.  The intention was that this … Continue reading Holdings Highlight! RG 167: Submissions to the National Inventors Council

Spotlight: The Last Footage Shot by Medal of Honor Recipient Marine Cpl. Perkins

For National Medal of Honor Day, observed on March 25 every year, the Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Branch of the National Archives wanted to honor Marine Cpl. William Thomas Perkins Jr., the only combat photographer to receive the honor after "gallantly giving his life for his country" as stated in his Medal of Honor … Continue reading Spotlight: The Last Footage Shot by Medal of Honor Recipient Marine Cpl. Perkins

Practice Makes Perfect: How the Apollo 11 Crew Prepared for Launch

This post was written by Ivy Donnell, a technician in NARA's Motion Picture Preservation Lab. You may have recently seen Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11 documentary, featuring archival film from the National Archives’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) holdings. The film footage of Apollo 11 makes the July 16, 1969 launch and subsequent Moon … Continue reading Practice Makes Perfect: How the Apollo 11 Crew Prepared for Launch

John Purroy Mitchel: The Boy Mayor of New York

This post was written by Harry Kidd.  Harry is a volunteer at the National Archives working on textual and photographic digitization projects.  Harry is a former Navy photographer himself and came across this story while researching military photographers.  John Purroy Mitchel (1879 – 1918) was a native New Yorker. Trained as a lawyer, he gained … Continue reading John Purroy Mitchel: The Boy Mayor of New York

Falling Down an Archival Rabbit Hole: Following the Trail from Finished Film Back to the Research that Inspired It

We’ve written here before about the 2007 rescue of a treasure-trove of government films from a shuttered film laboratory. Archivists from the National Archives recovered many films produced across the Federal government so they could be preserved and made accessible to the public. You may be familiar with the anti-drug film Curious Alice, but I … Continue reading Falling Down an Archival Rabbit Hole: Following the Trail from Finished Film Back to the Research that Inspired It

Family Ties: Family Members in Service During World War II

With over 16 million Americans serving in World War II, it’s no surprise that there were members of the same family in the same theaters. While digitizing from the U.S. Coast Guard Series “Activities, Facilities and Personalities” for ingest into the catalog, we found that there were several photographs documenting familial relationships between servicemen during … Continue reading Family Ties: Family Members in Service During World War II