Spotlight: Elephants in the Archive, Eek!

While National Elephant Appreciation Day may not be officially recognized as a Federal Holiday, its upcoming celebration (September 22nd) provided an excuse for an expedition through our holdings in the Still Picture Branch. The search for elephants, as it is for all animals here in Still Picture, starts with an established finding aid specifically catered … Continue reading Spotlight: Elephants in the Archive, Eek!

Spotlight: Propaganda

Due to recent physical changes in the Still Pictures Research Room, space became available for staff to showcase reproductions of some of our holdings. This inaugural display was created by Aaron Arthur and Michael Bloomfield to present examples of Propaganda held by the Branch. “Modern propaganda is a consistent, enduring effort to create or shape … Continue reading Spotlight: Propaganda

Spotlight: Last Minute Holiday Gifts!

Co-Authored by Beth Fortson and Corbin Apkin. You wake up in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve and realize that you have forgotten to get a gift for your sister's brand new "He's Totally The One" boyfriend. You get a text from your old college roommate two days before your New Years Party … Continue reading Spotlight: Last Minute Holiday Gifts!

Remembering President George Herbert Walker Bush

Former President George Herbert Walker Bush passed away on November 30, 2018 at the age of 94. At the time of his passing, President Bush had lived longer than any previous president. George H.W. Bush served as the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993 and also held the position of Vice … Continue reading Remembering President George Herbert Walker Bush

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

Smokey the Bear Fire Danger Rating Alert, Saratoga Ranger Station, Medicine Bow / Routt National Forest.

Smoke(y) Signals

For the past couple of months, I’ve been processing a collection related to the architecture, infrastructure, and construction of buildings in the Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service.  While sifting through pictures of Toilet Structures and Visitor’s Centers has been surprisingly entertaining, I took particular interest in a photo that had no particular … Continue reading Smoke(y) Signals

Boston, 1775: A City Under Siege!

Of all the record groups in the Cartographic Department's holdings, one of the most interesting and varied is RG 77.   This record group, with its myriad of smaller series, holds many Revolutionary War, Civil War and Civil War-era maps, (both printed and manuscript), drawings and schematics of forts, posts, and reservations, and original designs for … Continue reading Boston, 1775: A City Under Siege!

Spotlight: Dogs in Airbrush

Airbrushing was an early method of retouching and coloring photographs which can be traced back as far as the late 1800s. It is a unique process which creates a beautiful matte effect, causing images to look as though they are caught somewhere between photograph and painting. While the technology is still employed today, in the … Continue reading Spotlight: Dogs in Airbrush

The Haunted Archives

To celebrate Halloween, we took a look in our cartographic records at the National Archives to see if we could find any spooky records. We came across the following Utility Patent Drawings which certainly help to set the mood for the Halloween season. A number of jack-o'-lantern designs came up in the patent drawings. You … Continue reading The Haunted Archives

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