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

Bad Boys

The hard-working canine mascots of the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II tried their best to be Good Boys….but sometimes a dog’s just got to be bad. As the Still Picture Branch prepares the digitized images from the U.S. Coast Guard Series “Activities, Facilities and Personalities” for upload into the catalog, we noticed that … Continue reading Bad Boys

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

Spotlight: Hero Dogs

They are our sidekicks, our friends, our trusted companions. Protecting us from harm when alerting us to that ferocious looking Girl Scout coming up the front walk. Protecting us from true harm while on sentry duty, alert for movements of enemy forces in the night. Dogs are our guardians and our goofballs, and they loyally … Continue reading Spotlight: Hero Dogs

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)

The Moll Atlas: How the World Appeared in 1721

Among the many treasures tucked away in the Archives is a series of maps known simply as “The Moll Atlas” (RG 76, Series 30).  While the name might not initially scream “excitement”, the Moll Atlas is breathtaking for not only its complexity, but the sheer beauty of the maps themselves.  Unfortunately, this is not the … Continue reading The Moll Atlas: How the World Appeared in 1721

Spotlight: Wedded In Service

This post was written in collaboration with Beth Fortson. "I'd feel like a quitter if I left the service now." - Wren Josephine Mary Kennelly This Valentine's Day, the Still Picture Branch would like to share a photo story from the series 26-G. This series is the subject of one of our ongoing digitization projects … Continue reading Spotlight: Wedded In Service

The Measure of a Screen: Motion Picture Aspect Ratios in the Archives

Take a look at the two movie screens in the photos below. Notice anything different? The screen in the color image, photographed in 1998, is much wider than that in the 1946 black-and-white image. Each screen has a different aspect ratio. Merriam-Webster defines motion picture aspect ratio as “the ratio of the width of a … Continue reading The Measure of a Screen: Motion Picture Aspect Ratios in the Archives

The Digitization of 26-LG

Many different factors are considered when selecting a series for digitization. Records that are particularly fragile or have high intrinsic value might be digitized to help preserve the originals by reducing the amount of physical handling each item receives. Records that are of high historical value might be digitized for posterity in order to ensure … Continue reading The Digitization of 26-LG

Maps of the Great War: Army Cartography in World War I

One of the most illuminating groups of records found in the Cartographic Branch at the National Archives is Record Group 120: Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I), 1848 - 1942 (seen in our catalog here). These records cover many different aspects of the war. Included are maps from various United States army … Continue reading Maps of the Great War: Army Cartography in World War I