Why We Fight: Prelude to War, America’s Crash History Lesson

Why We Fight stands among the most ambitious and successful film projects ever undertaken by the United States government. Over the course of seven films, released from 1942 to 1945, director Frank Capra and his team argued forcefully for American service-people and civilians to unite in the massive labor of defeating the Axis Powers and … Continue reading Why We Fight: Prelude to War, America’s Crash History Lesson

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

Unnoticed: African Americans in Union Army Camps during the Civil War

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

19th Century Photographic Processes and Formats

Working within the Special Media Division presents many challenges. Not only do staff strive to become experts on the subject matter covered within our holdings, but also the physical format and the processes that made them. In the Still Picture Branch, we have a wide range of photographic formats and processes that provide unique preservation … Continue reading 19th Century Photographic Processes and Formats

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

VE Day in Color

Still from 18-SFP-9148 Meeting at Torgau The Germany city of Torgau is located on the banks of the Elbe River just 100 miles from the county's capital of Berlin. It is there that American and Soviet forces met on April 25, 1945 marking the end of World War II in Germany. Twelve days later, on … Continue reading VE Day in Color

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

African American Women in the Military During WWII

As we make our way through Women’s History Month, we are reminded of the incredible accomplishments of women throughout history. This year, we would like to focus on women who served, particularly African American women in World War II. For some great background information, be sure to visit our previous blog - Their War Too: … Continue reading African American Women in the Military During WWII

Uncommon Valor: The Making of the Marine Corps Memorial

75 years ago, from February 19th to March 26th, 1945, the Battle of Iwo Jima raged in the Pacific Ocean. For 35 days, American and Japanese forces fought for control of the strategically important island. That battle produced one of the most iconic images of war, a photograph taken four days into the battle by … Continue reading Uncommon Valor: The Making of the Marine Corps Memorial

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!