Cartographic Digitization Spotlight

The Cartographic and Architectural holdings include over 15 million items, including maps, charts, aerial photographs, architectural drawings, patents, and ship plans. In an effort to make these vast holdings more accessible to the public, we are continuously working on various digitization projects. These projects cover some of our most popular records and allow access to the digital images across the globe. Below is a spotlight of some of our current, in-progress digitization projects. Be sure to check the National Archives Catalog periodically, as we are constantly adding new records.

RG 134 – Railroad Valuation Maps, ca. 1915 – ca. 1920

One of our most requested series, the RG 134 – Railroad Valuation Maps consist of mostly annotated blueprints featuring right-of-way and tract maps for railroads in the United States. These records are arranged alphabetically by name of railroad, thereunder numerically by Valuation Section, thereunder numerically by map number. Below is a Station Map for the New York Central Railroad (Valuation Section 204A, Station 4a).

RG 134: Railroad Valuation Maps, ca. 1915 – ca. 1920, (NAID 562366). New York Central Railroad, Valuation Number 204A (NAID 286227770, Sheet 13).

RG 77 – Published Topographic Maps, 1942-1972

Next up are the RG 77 – Published Topographic Maps, also known as the Army Map Service (AMS) Map series. These consist of mostly topographical maps of various scales covering the globe. They are arranged alphanumerically by agency assigned map series numbers and thereunder chronologically. Some of the maps in this series are partially restricted. One of the most recent Catalog additions is AMS M671 – Middle Danube Series and Middle Danube North Romania.

RG 77: Published Topographic Maps, 1942–1972, (NAID 594842). Map of Gyongyos, Middle Danube, 3rd Edition AMS (NAID 280966820).

RG 77 – Plans of Military Posts in the United States, 1840–1947

Last but not least, the RG 77 – Plans of Military Posts in the United States is better known as the Miscellaneous Forts File. This series consists of maps and architectural plans of military posts primarily in the western United States. They are arranged alphabetically by name of post and thereunder numerically by sheet number. The design for an Army Mess Hall seen below is just one of almost 50 plans for Fort Hamilton, New York alone.

RG 77: Plans of Military Posts in the United States, 1840–1947, (NAID 305806). Design for Army Mess Hall – Section, End Elevation, and Front Elevation, Fort Hamilton, New York (NAID 241570464).

This is just a small sampling – the Cartographic branch has many different ongoing projects, whether internally or with help from external partners. Please enjoy all the current offerings in the Catalog, while we continue to add more digital content.