What’s In a Name? American Vessels Called Enterprise

This Saturday, September 8th, marks the 52nd anniversary of the debut of the “Star Trek” series on television. For over two hundred years, ships called Enterprise have been helping us “Boldly Go”.  From vessels that sailed the Great Lakes of the United States in the War of 1812 to the most decorated ship of World … Continue reading What’s In a Name? American Vessels Called Enterprise

Ironclad Navies: The USS Monitor and CSS Virginia during the Civil War

March 9 marks the famous meeting of the Civil War ironclad ships the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia at Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Cartographic Branch holds numerous plans and maps relating to the Battle of Hampton Roads and to the Civil War ironclads and ships involved in the battle. This post highlights some of … Continue reading Ironclad Navies: The USS Monitor and CSS Virginia during the Civil War

Cartographic’s Favorites of 2017

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

How a Booklet of General Plans Helped Save 32 Trapped Sailors After the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Among the vast holdings of the National Archives, in Record Group 19: Alphabetical Series of Ship Engineering Drawings, are a type of ship plans known simply as “Booklets of General Plans”.  These plans are illustrations various vessels showing elements such as the starboard and portside views of boats, schematics of weaponry, and deck layouts including … Continue reading How a Booklet of General Plans Helped Save 32 Trapped Sailors After the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Lynxes and Alligators and Ships, Oh, My! The Ships of the Ware Collection

Tucked away at Archives II in College Park, Maryland, in Record Group 45: Drawings of Naval Vessels and Equipment (NAID 635610), is a series of magnificent ship drawings known simply as “The Ware Collection”.  Named for Charles Ware, the artist that created them, the collection offers a high degree of detail and an eye-catching splash … Continue reading Lynxes and Alligators and Ships, Oh, My! The Ships of the Ware Collection

Now You See Me, Now You…..Still See Me? Hand-Painted British Dazzle Camouflage Templates from WWI

Record Group 19, Camouflage Design Drawings for U.S. Navy Commissioned Ships, U.S. Merchant Ships and British Ships (NAID 566727) contains some of the more colorful ship designs to ever sail in a military fleet. It is in this record group is where you will find the color and design templates for British Dazzle Camouflage.  There are … Continue reading Now You See Me, Now You…..Still See Me? Hand-Painted British Dazzle Camouflage Templates from WWI

Visualizing Pearl Harbor 75 Years Later

Tomorrow marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In remembrance of the event, we are presenting related maps, photographs, ship plans, and films held by NARA's Special Media Division. Photographs documenting the aftermath of the attack may be found in the General Photographic File of the Navy (RG 80-G, RG 80-GK), Color Photographs … Continue reading Visualizing Pearl Harbor 75 Years Later

Spotlight: Submarine Chasers

In 1916, after 2 incidents with German submarines off the east coast of the United States, the U.S. Navy recognized an urgent need for a new kind of vessel, one heavy enough for weather at sea, but nimble enough for antisubmarine maneuvers. The result was the 110 foot submarine chaser. The enabling legislation specified that the … Continue reading Spotlight: Submarine Chasers