August 25th marks the birthday of the National Park Service, which was established on that date in 1916. Over the course of the last 100 plus years, the National Park Service has grown, and now includes over 400 parks, representing America's vast array of natural wonders and significant historic sites. The Cartographic Branch holds a … Continue reading Capturing the Beauty of America’s National Parks: National Park Service Master Plan Covers
Fought July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg remains one of the most well known battles in American history. In honor of the 155th anniversary of the battle, we are featuring various maps related to the Battle of Gettysburg. All of the maps featured in this post are from Record Group (RG) 77, … Continue reading Mapping the Battle of Gettysburg
Sometimes, the most extraordinary maps can be “hiding” in plain sight, passed by, overlooked because they are a bit plain on the surface. However, once you know the real story behind the map, it can take on a whole different meaning and look completely new and exciting. One such map that fits this description can … Continue reading Hiding in Plain Sight: The FDR Interstate Highway Map
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!
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
The Cartographic Branch holds numerous maps created by noted Civil War mapmaker Jedediah Hotchkiss. Born in Windsor, New York, Hotchkiss moved to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia prior to the Civil War. He worked as a tutor and eventually founded and opened two schools. Although not professionally trained in geography or cartography, Hotchkiss studied map-making … Continue reading Jedediah Hotchkiss: Mapmaker of the Confederacy
Co-written with Amy Edwards The Cartographic Branch holds a wide variety of materials. While working with these documents for reference requests, projects, or research room requests, our staff comes across some very cool and significant documents. Today, we are featuring a few of our favorite records that we've come across this year. We hope that … Continue reading Cartographic’s Favorites of 2017
Civil War maps are always popular at the National Archives, and the Cartographic Branch is pleased to announce the digitization of over 100 Confederate maps from Record Group (RG) 109. All are now available to view or download through our online catalog. Maps played a very important role during the Civil War. They were instrumental to … Continue reading RG 109 Confederate Maps Series Now Digitized and Available Online!
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
The Cartographic Branch holds many maps relating to Civil War battlefields. Today we’re highlighting some maps relating to the battles of Antietam and South Mountain. The battle of South Mountain took place just east of Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 14, 1862, only days before the larger and better known battle of Antietam. At South Mountain, … Continue reading Mapping the Civil War: Antietam and South Mountain