Still Picture Branch Artifacts

Sometimes when receiving permanent photographic records from federal agencies, we find surprises within the boxes. These can include photographic related items and non-photographic artifacts. For this post, I am highlighting just some of these items, but certainly not all found within our Still Picture Branch holdings. One of our favorite non-photographic items are J. Edgar … Continue reading Still Picture Branch Artifacts

Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

75 years ago, in August 1945, the United States dropped the first and last atomic bombs used in warfare. The first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima at 8:15 AM on August 6th, and the second bomb was dropped over Nagasaki on August 9th at 11:02 AM. Whether or not the atomic bombs should have been … Continue reading Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

An Update on Still Picture Catalog Additions

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

Spotlight: The Spanish-American War through Photographs

The Spanish-American War waged from April 1898 to August 1898. As the name suggests, the main opponents during the war were the United States and Spain, while the core issue was that of Cuban independence from the Spanish. The Americans backed Cuban independence, and even took to sending American troops to Cuba in support. Almost … Continue reading Spotlight: The Spanish-American War through Photographs

Spotlight: Dorothea Lange

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

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

Double Take: Making Visual Connections in the National Archives Catalog

This post was written by Daniel Dancis. Daniel is a Textual Records Archivist who blogs at The Text Message. Do you remember the card game “memory,” also known as “concentration”? It involves setting up a deck of cards face side down and each player turning over two cards per turn. If the two cards turned … Continue reading Double Take: Making Visual Connections in the National Archives Catalog

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

How to Search Still Photographs for Army Personalities

Searching for photographs of specific service members can be difficult. Within the holdings of the Still Picture Branch we have personality indexes can help assist in the search for specific individuals in the military. Recently, a digitized portion of the Army’s personality index titled 111-PX: Index to Personalities in the U.S. Army Signal Corps Photographic … Continue reading How to Search Still Photographs for Army Personalities

Spotlight: Saving Time with “A Step Saving Kitchen”

Since many of us have been spending more time in our kitchens cooking lately, we thought this would be a good time to highlight the film A Step Saving Kitchen (16-P-1783).  It comes from the Records of the Department of Agriculture, in the series "Public Information and Training Motion Picture and Television Productions, 1990 – … Continue reading Spotlight: Saving Time with “A Step Saving Kitchen”