May 29th, 2022 marks the 18th anniversary of the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, and in honor of the anniversary, the Cartographic Branch would like to highlight a particular set of records relating to the very conceptualization of the monument itself. These records, found in RG 117: Drawings for the … Continue reading RG 117: Drawings for the National WWII Memorial Design Competition
All maps provide us with some level of information, but some maps, like the one pictured below, tell us a story. Found within the holdings of the Cartographic Branch in RG 77: Fortifications Map File Plans of Military Forts, 1818-1941, “Falmouth Neck, As It Was When Destroyed By Mowatt, October 18th, 1775” is one … Continue reading Maps as Storytellers: (Map of) Falmouth Neck, as it was When Destroyed by Mowatt, October 18th, 1775
For a century, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has been the centerpiece of Arlington National Cemetery. This solemn memorial, the final resting place of three unknown members of the American military, holds a special place in the hearts and minds of American citizens as we reflect upon the meaning of service and sacrifice this … Continue reading As the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Turns 100, We Look Back at Cartographic Records Spanning the History of Arlington National Cemetery
Did you know that the Cartographic Branch is home to over one million ship plans, with records spanning more than 15 distinct record groups (RGs) and over 25 separate series? From trial curves, to booklets of general plans, to sail plans for vessels from the War of 1812, the Cartographic Branch has something for everyone….including … Continue reading “…her loss remains unknown…” : The Mysterious Disappearance of the USS Cyclops (AC-4)
When you work with cartographic records at the National Archives, it is fair to say that you never know what you are going to randomly come across when you open a folder. Sometimes, it is a newer, published map. Sometimes (on a really great day) it is a 200-year-old manuscript map, and somedays, it's random … Continue reading Of Civil Works, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, and the Randomness of Records in the Cartographic Branch
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!
The Outer Banks of North Carolina are a 200-mile-long string of barrier islands located on the eastern coast of the United States, in the mid-Atlantic region. This tiny strip of land forms a barrier between the Pamilico Sound, the Albemarle Sound, and the Carrituck Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Now a major tourist destination, the … Continue reading BOOM! – Looking Back at When the Bodie Island Lighthouse Went Dark in May of 1863
Ah! Spring is in the air and what better time is there for a walk in the park? From the huge expanse of Rock Creek Park to the much smaller green spaces like Reservation No. 22, Washington D.C. is home to an abundance of parks and green spaces of all sizes and shapes. Likewise, the … Continue reading Just a Walk in the Park in Washington, D.C.
If you have ever visited Washington, D.C., one of the most striking features of the city is the National Mall and the area surrounding it. If you stand in the middle of the mall and look due east, you will find yourself facing the stately white dome of the Capitol Building. From there, if you … Continue reading The Only Constant in the Nation’s Capital is Change!
Maybe it is my past as a field archaeologist and a museum geek, but I love a good collection! Projectile points, pottery shards, fossils, drawings, or maps - groupings of things, especially old things catch my eye. So, how was I to resist writing about it when I came across a collection of beautiful drawings … Continue reading The Washington National Monument – A National Contest for a National Monument