Living “the future of our past”: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Archives II

This post was created in collaboration with Phillip Wong, Archives Technician in the Still Picture Branch. On October 17, 1989, the ground shook as a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit San Francisco, interrupting game 3 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics. Across the country, the ground was also shifting. … Continue reading Living “the future of our past”: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Archives II

Celebrating National Submarine Day with a Dive into Drawings of the USS Holland (SS-1)

Residing in Record Group 19 in the holdings of the Cartographic Branch are three drawings of a very early submarine owned by United States Navy. Though the USS Holland was not the first submarine owned by the Navy, she was the first to be commissioned and is the reason that we observe National Submarine Day. … Continue reading Celebrating National Submarine Day with a Dive into Drawings of the USS Holland (SS-1)

Christine Jorgensen: America’s First Transgender Celebrity

Clip from Universal Newsreel Volume 26, Release 440 (Local ID: UN-UN-26-440-1-4) Please Note: Primary source documents used in this post may contain harmful language. See NARA’s Statement on Potentially Harmful Language. The scenes shown in this 1953 Universal Newsreel footage are some of the first moments pioneering transgender woman Christine Jorgensen would spend in the … Continue reading Christine Jorgensen: America’s First Transgender Celebrity

Power & Light: Russell Lee’s Coal Survey Exhibit

I’m pleased to announce the recent opening of a new exhibit at the National Archives Building, Power & Light: Russell Lee’s Coal Survey, which will run until July 6, 2025. The creation of the exhibit was a collaborative effort between our Museum staff and the Still Picture Branch. The exhibit features photographs from the series … Continue reading Power & Light: Russell Lee’s Coal Survey Exhibit

Documerica Photographer Spotlight: Erik Calonius

Today’s post is written by Larry Shockley, archives specialist in NARA’s Office of Innovation.  In 1972 a freelance photographer by the name of Erik Calonius was hired by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to capture photographs relating to EPA activities, environmental problems, and everyday American life in the 1970’s. Many of the photos that Calonius … Continue reading Documerica Photographer Spotlight: Erik Calonius

Way, Way Down Under: Exploring Mapping of the Earth’s South Pole

Living on the east coast of the United States, one gets used to cold mornings, grey days, blustery winds, and the occasional freak snowstorm.  Given the weather and the fact that January 17th, 2024 marked the 251st anniversary of Captain Cook’s crossing of the Antarctic Circle, it seemed like a really great time to highlight … Continue reading Way, Way Down Under: Exploring Mapping of the Earth’s South Pole

New Year’s Resolutions 101: Examples and Suggestions from Old Patents

Every year, around this time, many people’s minds turn towards New Year’s Resolutions.  Things like saving more money, learning a new skill, and better self-care are timeless classics when it comes to resolutions.  So, we here in the Cartographic Branch would like to offer up some patents related to resolution keeping, just in case you … Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions 101: Examples and Suggestions from Old Patents

X-15A Flight No. 3-7-14: To the Edge of Space

Separation from B-52. 342-USAF-30182, https://catalog.archives.gov/id/68330 The X-15 did not take off. It must have stuck out its thumb, because it hitched a ride into flight. On July 17, 1962, Air Force Maj. Robert White took to the air with his X-15 mounted under the wing of a modified B-52. After separating from the mothership, he … Continue reading X-15A Flight No. 3-7-14: To the Edge of Space

Mapping the Moon

RG 77: Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, Lunar Maps, 1961–1962 (NAID 1077479) On April 3, 2023, NASA announced that humans are soaring back to the Moon for the first time in over 50 years, since the return of Apollo 17 in 1972. Four astronauts, Americans, Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Koch, … Continue reading Mapping the Moon

This Just In! Three New Series Relating to Puerto Rico Fully Digitized and Available Online!

The Cartographic Branch is pleased to announce that three new series of records relating to Puerto Rico have been fully digitized and are now available online for viewing and download through the National Archives Catalog.  The first series, RG 95: Map of Puerto Rico Showing Federal Land Management Activities, 1949-1949, (NAID 1011336) contains a map … Continue reading This Just In! Three New Series Relating to Puerto Rico Fully Digitized and Available Online!