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

Non-Military Photographs of Native Americans Within the Records of the Chief Signal Officer

Photographs of Native Americans can be found throughout the holdings of the National Archives in many record groups and series. Most of the records pertaining to Native Americans can be found in record group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1793-1999. An interested researcher should certainly not overlook these records when conducting a … Continue reading Non-Military Photographs of Native Americans Within the Records of the Chief Signal Officer

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”

Mobile Libraries: Culture on the Go

Today’s post is written by Joseph Smith, who volunteers at the National Archives at College Park.  National Bookmobile Day is April 22, part of National Library Week (April 19-25).  A library is a place that stores information, a place where people from all walks of life have the opportunity to obtain textual and audiovisual material … Continue reading Mobile Libraries: Culture on the Go

Spotlight: Battle of Okinawa

On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, American troops landed on Okinawa and began their 82-day fight to secure the island. For the Allies, capturing Okinawa was a crucial part of their plan to invade mainland Japan. For the Japanese, holding on to Okinawa was crucial to their ability to defend the mainland. And trapped between … Continue reading Spotlight: Battle of Okinawa

Opening Credits for "It's Up to You" (208.50) showing Director, Photographer, and Editor

Finding Elizabeth Wheeler: Rediscovering a 1940s Woman Filmmaker

Today's guest blog post is by Sharon Thompson, Executive Director of the Lesbian Home Movie Project (LMHP). A writer, editor, and film archivist, Thompson has used NARA records in her research into women filmmakers. We asked her to write about one of her research projects to close out Women's History Month. Between one question and … Continue reading Finding Elizabeth Wheeler: Rediscovering a 1940s Woman Filmmaker