Civil War Defenses of Washington Fort Plans Now Available Online

The Cartographic Branch holds thousands of drawings, plans, and maps relating to forts, fortifications, and other military structures. These can be found in a variety of record groups and series, including RG 77 Fortification Map File (NAID 305749), RG 77 Miscellaneous Forts File (NAID 305806), RG 92 Post and Reservation Maps (NAID 305818), RG 92 … Continue reading Civil War Defenses of Washington Fort Plans Now Available Online

Chronicling Cartographic’s Oldest Record: The Polus Antarcticus Map

Always a staff favorite, the Polus Antarcticus atlas page, found within the Cartographic Branch's holdings, shows an early map of the South Pole region and includes interesting (although rather inaccurate) illustrations that decorate the edges of the map. The Cartographic Branch actually holds two copies of this historically significant map. Both can be found within … Continue reading Chronicling Cartographic’s Oldest Record: The Polus Antarcticus Map

Highlights from the War Department Map Collection

The Cartographic Branch is digitizing the Record Group 77, War Department Map Collection (NAID 305808), which consists of maps of both the United States and foreign areas. At this time, only the maps relating to the United States have been digitized, although we hope to digitized the foreign maps in the future. The United States … Continue reading Highlights from the War Department Map Collection

Mapping the Battle of Shiloh

As you may know, the Cartographic Branch holds many maps relating to Civil War battles and sites. However, what you may not know is that many of these maps are available to view anytime and anywhere through the National Archives Online Catalog. Today we're featuring maps showing the Shiloh Battlefield. All of the maps featured … Continue reading Mapping the Battle of Shiloh

Researching Aerial Photography of the United States : RG 145 Aerial Indexes Now Digitized

The Cartographic Branch holds aerial imagery covering much of the United States and also many areas around the world. Today's post will focus on getting started with aerial imagery covering the United States, and specifically, Record Group (RG) 145 imagery. For more information on locating foreign aerial photography, see our previous posts: Researching Foreign Aerial … Continue reading Researching Aerial Photography of the United States : RG 145 Aerial Indexes Now Digitized

Mapping the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee

The Cartographic Branch holds maps relating to many well known Civil War battles like Gettysburg, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, and Shiloh. However, we also hold a variety of maps relating to some lesser-known battles. Today we're featuring maps relating to the Battle of Franklin, which took place on November 30, 1864 in Tennessee. In the fall … Continue reading Mapping the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee

Researching Foreign Aerial Photography – Captured German Aerial Prints

In our previous post, Researching Foreign Aerial Photography, we discussed how to locate rolled aerial negatives. However, the Cartographic Branch also holds some aerial photographic prints within our holdings. These images are searched and located in a similar manner as rolled aerial negatives, but have a few differences that will be highlighted in today's post. … Continue reading Researching Foreign Aerial Photography – Captured German Aerial Prints

Researching Foreign Aerial Photography

Chances are that if you stop by the Cartographic Research Room on any given day, at least one person will be working with aerial photography.  It's easily the most commonly requested record type in our research room and one of the most common offsite reference requests that we receive. The Cartographic Branch holds over 29 … Continue reading Researching Foreign Aerial Photography

Spotlight: Aerial Photography of Woodstock Festival Site

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic Woodstock Music Festival, which took place August 15-18, 1969 at a farm near Bethel, New York. The festival, billed as three days of peace and music, drew nearly half a million attendees and has become legendary in American history. Although the Special Media Division doesn't hold … Continue reading Spotlight: Aerial Photography of Woodstock Festival Site

Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad

On May 10, 1869, the last spike of the Transcontinental Railroad was ceremoniously driven in at Promontory Summit, Utah, joining the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroads to form one continuous railroad to connecting the east to the west. We are recognizing the 150th anniversary of this important event by featuring a few … Continue reading Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad