Spotlight: Happy Birthday, West Virginia

West Virginia officially became a state on June 20, 1863 and will celebrate its 157th birthday this year. The state was created when several northern Virginia counties were admitted to the Union during the Civil War after several years of petitioning the United States Government. Economic and social differences between southern and northern Virginia lead … Continue reading Spotlight: Happy Birthday, West Virginia

Unnoticed: African Americans in Union Army Camps during the Civil War

Many of us are familiar with the famed photographer, Mathew Brady, who captured a million photographs during the American Civil War.  From the battlefield to portraits, his photographs captured some of the most grueling and unforgettable times of the war.  They were the inspiration of Ken Burns' famed documentary series The Civil War (1990).  Many … Continue reading Unnoticed: African Americans in Union Army Camps during the Civil War

African American Women in the Military During WWII

As we make our way through Women’s History Month, we are reminded of the incredible accomplishments of women throughout history. This year, we would like to focus on women who served, particularly African American women in World War II. For some great background information, be sure to visit our previous blog - Their War Too: … Continue reading African American Women in the Military During WWII

Spotlight: Photographs Documenting the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

Executive Order 6101, which established the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)*, was signed on April 5, 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was signed just one month into Roosevelt's presidency, making the CCC one of the earliest New Deal programs. The program was by no means perfect and was met with some criticism. However, the … Continue reading Spotlight: Photographs Documenting the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

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

Captured on Film: Armistice Day 1918

This Veterans Day, November 11th, is the 100th anniversary of the armistice of World War I. The armistice was not an official surrender by Germany, which would come several months later with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, but was essentially the beginning of the end of the war. The Great War, as it is … Continue reading Captured on Film: Armistice Day 1918

Now Showing: George Washington Carver on Kodachrome

One of our Motion Picture Preservation Lab staff identified a remarkable film in a recent accession of audiovisual material from the National Park Service (NPS). The film features amateur footage of George Washington Carver, the famed African-American botanist and inventor who taught for decades at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Alabama. During his time … Continue reading Now Showing: George Washington Carver on Kodachrome

Stock Footage Spotlight: Historically Black Colleges and Universities in WWII

When scanning films in the National Archives Motion Picture Lab, we sometimes come across images that we want to learn more about. We recently transferred several reels of unedited footage depicting African American college students in various classroom settings. The posters on the wall indicated that the footage had been shot during wartime. The slates … Continue reading Stock Footage Spotlight: Historically Black Colleges and Universities in WWII

60 Years On: The Little Rock Nine

September 2017 marks 60 years since the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, a key event of the American Civil Rights Movement. NARA Holdings Relating to the Desegregation of Central High School The Motion Picture, Sound and Video Branch at the National Archives has in its holdings several reels of unedited footage … Continue reading 60 Years On: The Little Rock Nine