Next Round is on the General! Recalling the Time When General “Lightning Joe” Collins Bought a Round for 600 Men

When you hear “Cartographic Records”, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  Most likely, you would be inclined to think of maps - topographic maps, geopolitical maps, navigation charts, township plats, and any of a hundred other, different sorts of maps.  But did you know that maps aren’t the only type of records … Continue reading Next Round is on the General! Recalling the Time When General “Lightning Joe” Collins Bought a Round for 600 Men

RG 117: Drawings for the National WWII Memorial Design Competition

May 29th, 2022 marks the 18th anniversary of the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, and in honor of the anniversary, the Cartographic Branch would like to highlight a particular set of records relating to the very conceptualization of the monument itself. These records, found in RG 117: Drawings for the … Continue reading RG 117: Drawings for the National WWII Memorial Design Competition

The U.S. Forest Service Presents: Winter Olympics

Please Note: Primary source documents used in this post may contain harmful language. See NARA’s Statement on Potentially Harmful Language. Are you in need of some winter sports action during the break between the Olympics and Paralympics? The U.S. Forest Service has the perfect film for you, aptly titled Winter Olympics. Winter Olympics documents the 1960 … Continue reading The U.S. Forest Service Presents: Winter Olympics

Maps as Storytellers: (Map of) Falmouth Neck, as it was When Destroyed by Mowatt, October 18th, 1775

All maps provide us with some level of information, but some maps, like the one pictured below, tell us a story.   Found within the holdings of the Cartographic Branch in RG 77: Fortifications Map File Plans of Military Forts, 1818-1941,   “Falmouth Neck, As It Was When Destroyed By Mowatt, October 18th, 1775” is one … Continue reading Maps as Storytellers: (Map of) Falmouth Neck, as it was When Destroyed by Mowatt, October 18th, 1775

100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

One of America's most iconic memorials will be celebrating its 100th anniversary on Veteran's Day 2021, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. It is visited every year by millions of visitors. The National Archives Still Pictures Branch holds photographs relating to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier depicting visitors paying their … Continue reading 100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

“…her loss remains unknown…” : The Mysterious Disappearance of the USS Cyclops (AC-4)

Did you know that the Cartographic Branch is home to over one million ship plans, with records spanning more than 15 distinct record groups (RGs) and over 25 separate series?  From trial curves, to booklets of general plans, to sail plans for vessels from the War of 1812, the Cartographic Branch has something for everyone….including … Continue reading “…her loss remains unknown…” : The Mysterious Disappearance of the USS Cyclops (AC-4)

Sinking the Fleets of World War I

Some of the National Archives’ finest footage of the bombardment and sinking of World War I-era ships dates from after the war. In 1921, 1923, and 1931, the United States Navy, in cooperation with the Army Air Forces, bombarded American and German vessels with bombs ranging in size from 25 to 2000 pounds. These spectacles … Continue reading Sinking the Fleets of World War I

Keeping Cool with Cool Patents the 4th of July!

One of my favorite record groups is RG 241: Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, because of the dazzling displays of ingenuity! These patents, as usual, do not disappoint. Enjoy!! https://catalog.archives.gov/id/159160063RG 241: Restored Patent Drawings, 1836-1978. Patent 6558-X. J. Barron's Patent Drawing for a Mechanical Fan. NAID: 159160063. RG 241: Utility Patent Drawings, 1837-1911. … Continue reading Keeping Cool with Cool Patents the 4th of July!