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:
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