Shooting the Moon: Photos of the Lunar Surface and Beyond

On August 26, 1966 an image graced the front page of the New York Times under the headline, “How the Earth Looks from the Moon.”  The image was of such low quality that the grey sphere which all of mankind calls home was barely recognizable.  Nevertheless, the photograph was remarkable.  For the first time, humans … Continue reading Shooting the Moon: Photos of the Lunar Surface and Beyond

Hy Rothman – Searching for Nazis on the Greenland Patrol

This post was compiled by Harry Kidd.  Harry is a volunteer at the National Archives working on textual and photographic digitization projects.  Harry is a former Navy photographer himself and came across this story while researching military photographers.   During WWII the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations interviewed over 600 servicemen from all … Continue reading Hy Rothman – Searching for Nazis on the Greenland Patrol

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic (Photos)

This post was written in collaboration with Kevin Quinn, Sarah Lepianka, and Katherine Stinson - Archives Technicians in the Still Photos Branch.   The 1918 Influenza Pandemic, also known as the Spanish Flu, was one of the deadliest events in human history.  While fighting between the Allied Powers and the Central Powers raged on in Europe, … Continue reading The 1918 Influenza Pandemic (Photos)

From Norfolk to NARA: The Unexpected Journey of the Navy Shipyard Glass Plate Negatives

As the National Archives adapts to the world of digital records, it is easy to lose sight of the traditional challenges that have plagued archivists for generations. Over the last year, the Still Pictures branch has accessioned and processed a number of series that were originally captured on glass plates.  Such was the case with … Continue reading From Norfolk to NARA: The Unexpected Journey of the Navy Shipyard Glass Plate Negatives

Accessing World War I Photos in the Digital Age

April 6 marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, as well as the culmination of a massive digitization project from the National Archives. Through a generous donation made by an anonymous donor, the National Archives was able to digitize over 110,000 photographs and nearly 300 reels of film related to … Continue reading Accessing World War I Photos in the Digital Age

Football Photographs at the National Archives

With the NFL playoffs underway, millions of fans will crowd around their television sets, eat buffalo wings, and cheer for (or against) the remaining Super Bowl contenders.  Yet football has played an important part in American culture far beyond the National Football League.  Photographs at the National Archives reflect the pervasiveness of football in United … Continue reading Football Photographs at the National Archives

Hidden Women: The Art of WWI Camouflage (Photos)

If you've ever read a Highlights magazine, you've likely played the hidden picture game--the one where children are asked to find out-of-place objects like pencils hidden in trees and candy canes hidden in striped dresses.  As I came across photographs from the Women's Reserve Camouflage Corps, I was instantly reminded of the classic childhood time-killer.  Only this time, … Continue reading Hidden Women: The Art of WWI Camouflage (Photos)

Historic Maps and Photos of the National Zoo

This post was written in collaboration with Carla Simms The National Zoo in Washington D.C. is one of the capital’s most celebrated landmarks.  The zoo was created by an act of congress in 1889, and officially made a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution the following year.  Since its founding, the zoo has been a pioneer in … Continue reading Historic Maps and Photos of the National Zoo

Photos from the Nazi Archives

Please Note:  This post contains images of sensitive content The National Archives has a large collection of seized foreign records. Within the Still Photos Branch, the vast majority of these records pertain to Nazi Germany. Notable series include photographs taken by Heinrich Hoffman, Hitler’s official photographer, and a number of albums from Eva Braun, Hitler’s … Continue reading Photos from the Nazi Archives

A Fair to Remember: Colored Lantern Slides at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition

One century ago, San Francisco's 1915 World’s Fair closed its doors, ending one of the most unique events in American history.  For 288 days, the fair brought together an odd array of individuals that seemingly belong in different chapters of the history textbook.  Civil War veterans could watch as Henry Ford produced a car every … Continue reading A Fair to Remember: Colored Lantern Slides at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition