Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mapping the Civil War: Antietam and South Mountain

The Cartographic Branch holds many maps relating to Civil War battlefields. Today we’re highlighting some maps relating to the battles of Antietam and South Mountain. The battle of South Mountain took place just east of Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 14, … Continue reading

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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 contains some of the more colorful ship designs to ever sail in a military fleet. It is in this record group is where … Continue reading

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60 Years On: The Little Rock Nine

September 2017 marks 60 years since the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, a key event of the American Civil Rights Movement. NARA Holdings Relating to the Desegregation of Central High School The Motion Picture, Sound and … Continue reading

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Through an American Lens: The Russian Civil War

Note: Some images are of a sensitive nature. In 1919 the United States was entering a decade of prosperity after the success of World War I. The country benefited politically and financially from the experience and while things were by … Continue reading

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Planning America’s Best Idea: Master Plans for National Parks

On August 25, 1916, Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Organics Act, creating the National Park Service (NPS), a new federal bureau responsible for protecting the existing 35 national parks and monuments. In 1933, the National Park Service greatly expanded … Continue reading

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A Brief Glimpse of the German Empire Through the Lens of a State Seal

A Brief Glimpse of the German Empire Through the Lens of a State Seal      Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a series of sailing directions found in RG 456, Foreign Sailing Directions. These volumes are mostly … Continue reading

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Spotlight: Hollywood Goes to War

Just prior to Pearl Harbor, a military lecture series was created to educate new draftees and volunteers. The series covered important topics such as world military history and the principles of democracy. But the lecture series and outdated films that … Continue reading

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How to Research: Photographs Relating to WWII Air Force Units

Previously the Still Pictures Branch introduced the initial blog in a four part series on various methods of researching World War II unit records. The first part of the series discussed methods of researching photographs of U.S. Army units during … Continue reading

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Utility Patent Drawings

One fascinating way to look at our history is by studying the tools we have invented and used throughout the years. There is no better way to do this than by looking at the patent drawings we hold in the … Continue reading

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Brady’s Lens: The Civil War and the Mathew Brady Collection in the National Archives

On 9 April 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.  Over the course of April and into early May, more and more Confederate commanders surrendered their armies, and … Continue reading

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