Lighting the Way: RG 26 Lighthouse Plans & Maps Now Digitized

Lighting the way for centuries, lighthouses continue to serve as a navigational aid for sailors at sea or on inland waterways. Lighthouses warn mariners of hazards such as reefs and rocks, guide ships to safe harbors, and help sailors establish their position.

The Cartographic branch of the National Archives holds numerous drawings and maps of lighthouses in the U.S. 

The Lighthouse Plans and Maps series has recently been digitized and is now available online through the National Archives Catalog. The series consists of construction plans and location maps including building elevations, floor plans, and site plans. 

For more information on the series and a list of the records it contains, see finding aid Special List 57.

Below are some images of records found in the series:

Sketch of Fort McHenry and Lazaretto Light House. RG 26, Lighthouse Plans and Maps, MD, Lazaretto #10 (NAID: 12007702).
26-Saint Augustine FL-6_2010_001
Elevation and Plan Drawing for the Lighthouse at Saint Augustine, Florida. RG 26, Lighthouse Plans and Maps, FL, St. Augustine #6 (NAID: 6281866).
Elevation and Section of First Order Lighthouse at Tillamook Rock, Oregon. RG 26, Lighthouse Plans and Maps, Tillamook Rock, OR, 4 (NAID: 731261).

See other blog posts about lighthouse records held by Special Media at the National Archives:

Shining a Light on Montauk Point Lighthouse in Honor of Lighthouse Day

Lighthouse Drawings in celebration of National Lighthouse Day

Images of the Week: Lighthouses 1855-1933

Cartographic’s Favorites of 2017

The Digitization of 26-LG