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

Lighting the Way: RG 26 Lighthouse Plans & Maps Now Digitized

Lighting the way for centuries, lighthouses continue to serve as a navigational aid for sailors at sea or on inland waterways. Lighthouses warn mariners of hazards such as reefs and rocks, guide ships to safe harbors, and help sailors establish their position. The Cartographic branch of the National Archives holds numerous drawings and maps of … Continue reading Lighting the Way: RG 26 Lighthouse Plans & Maps Now Digitized

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

Fire Up the Horses and Let ’em Run! Early Representations of Horsepower from RG 241: Restored Patents

Horsepower!  We hear this common phrase everyday associated with everything from cars to lawn mowers to available human capital.  It's all about power and the power to get things done.  While today the term "horse power" typically refers to the power of an engine in a car or truck and is a single, compound word, … Continue reading Fire Up the Horses and Let ’em Run! Early Representations of Horsepower from RG 241: Restored Patents

Now Available Online: RG 77, Civil Works Map Files, US File Unit!

We are very excited to announce that all of the maps in the US File Unit RG 77: Civil Works Map File have now been digitized and are available online for viewing and download!  These images can be found by searching the National Archives Catalog, NAID #7491452. The records in this series comprised the main … Continue reading Now Available Online: RG 77, Civil Works Map Files, US File Unit!

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