Today's post was written by Claire Kluskens, Genealogy/Census Subject Matter Expert and Digital Projects Archivist at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Photographs are highly sought-after by many family historians, especially when such precious artifacts are lost due to relocating, estrangement, natural disaster, or simple neglect. They serve not only as a visual aid to … Continue reading Mug Books: An Unusual Avenue of Genealogical Inquiry
As digitization standards have evolved throughout the years, NARA has worked to keep up with best practices. However, despite our efforts to stay ahead of the curve, there are still photographs in our Catalog that were digitized many years ago and don't necessarily meet the requirements to be considered "high resolution." Specifically, researchers are likely … Continue reading Using Wikimedia Commons to Locate Higher Resolution Scans
The International Military Tribunal, more commonly known at the Nuremberg trials, began this week 75 years ago in Nuremberg, Germany. The trials were a series of military tribunals held to convict major Nazi German leaders on charges of crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and conspiracy to commit each of these crimes. It … Continue reading The Nuremberg Trials, 75 Years Later
Tuesday, November 3, 2020 marks the 59th quadrennial presidential election. In honor of the upcoming election, the Unwritten Record has selected photographs and posters that document the voting process in the United States and abroad. All photographs included within this post are available in the National Archives Catalog. … Continue reading Images of the Week: Vote, Voting, Voted!
A couple of years back, the National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab started seeing an uptick in researcher reference requests for one specific series of films: 306-LSS, a group of more than 400 black and white reels of stock footage that ended up in the hands of the United States Information Agency (USIA). As the … Continue reading Searchable Stock Shots: 306-LSS Films Now Online!
While we frequently share interesting early maps from the Cartographic Branch holdings, today we wanted to focus on some of Cartographic's more recent maps. The RG 263 CIA Published Maps (also called the CIA Numbered Maps or Numerical Series) is made up of over 22,000 declassified maps. These maps date primarily from the 1940s to … Continue reading RG 263 CIA Published Maps: A Digitization Project In Progress
Though our research rooms remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, National Archives staff have been diligently working from home to make records more accessible to the public. In this vein, Still Picture staff have been converting finding aids into online catalog descriptions. Making descriptions searchable via the catalog will ultimately help researchers locate and … Continue reading An Update on Still Picture Catalog Additions
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
If you are not familiar with the name Dorothea Lange, at the very least you may recognize Lange's iconic photograph "Migrant Mother." Throughout the 1920s, Dorothea Lange worked as a studio portrait photographer in San Francisco. However, by the height of the Great Depression, she turned her focus towards documenting people and her surroundings. As … Continue reading Spotlight: Dorothea Lange
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