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

Charleston Harbor at the Brink of War: Sketches from the RG 94, Civil War Atlas Manuscript Maps Series

The Cartographic Branch holds a large collection of Civil War maps. Two series that often get overlooked are comprised of maps associated with the publication of the Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. The first series consists of copies of the published maps, which are widely available. However, the real gem … Continue reading Charleston Harbor at the Brink of War: Sketches from the RG 94, Civil War Atlas Manuscript Maps Series

Cartographic Records Relating to African American History

February is African American History Month. All of our Special Media branches hold a variety of records relating to African American history. Today, we are featuring some related records from the Cartographic Branch. The above plan shows the layout for the Freeman's Village that was established on the estate of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, … Continue reading Cartographic Records Relating to African American History

Mapping the Battle of Fredericksburg

In honor of the anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg, which was fought December 13, 1862, the Cartographic Branch is highlighting some of its many maps related to Fredericksburg during the Civil War. In the fall of 1862, both armies began concentrating around Fredericksburg, a town halfway between Washington, DC and Richmond, VA.  Union General … Continue reading Mapping the Battle of Fredericksburg

Newly Digitized Series : Initial Burial Plats for World War I American Soldiers

November 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the conclusion of World War I. Fighting came to a close in Europe on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 when Germany signed an armistice with the Allied forces. At the war's conclusion, over 70,000 American soldiers lay scatted in graves … Continue reading Newly Digitized Series : Initial Burial Plats for World War I American Soldiers

Capturing the Beauty of America’s National Parks: National Park Service Master Plan Covers

August 25th marks the birthday of the National Park Service, which was established on that date in 1916. Over the course of the last 100 plus years, the National Park Service has grown, and now includes over 400 parks, representing America's vast array of natural wonders and significant historic sites. The Cartographic Branch holds a … Continue reading Capturing the Beauty of America’s National Parks: National Park Service Master Plan Covers

Mapping the Battle of Gettysburg

Fought July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg remains one of the most well known battles in American history. In honor of the 155th anniversary of the battle, we are featuring various maps related to the Battle of Gettysburg.  All of the maps featured in this post are from Record Group (RG) 77, … Continue reading Mapping the Battle of Gettysburg

Building Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter will forever go down in history as the location of the opening shots of the Civil War on April 12, 1861. The Cartographic Branch holds architectural plans and drawings associated with the construction of forts throughout our nation's history. This includes numerous plans relating to Fort Sumter's lengthy construction. Today we are featuring … Continue reading Building Fort Sumter