Panama Canal Zone Photographs

Recently, a series of photographs entitled Photographs Related to the Operation and Development of the Panama Canal Zone, ca. 1938 - ca. 1960 (185-CZ), went live on NARA's online catalog. The 2,483 photographs document various functions of the civil government and the Department of Operations and Maintenance of the Canal Zone.  Included in the images … Continue reading Panama Canal Zone Photographs

Just a Walk in the Park in Washington, D.C.

Ah!  Spring is in the air and what better time is there for a walk in the park? From the huge expanse of Rock Creek Park to the much smaller green spaces like Reservation No. 22, Washington D.C. is home to an abundance of parks and green spaces of all sizes and shapes.  Likewise, the … Continue reading Just a Walk in the Park in Washington, D.C.

Special Media Catalog Updates

While our research rooms have been closed to the public, the Special Media Division has made many significant additions and updates to our online catalog. Highlights include: Cartographic Branch Construction and Design Drawings of Guns, Related Machinery and Parts, 1862-1921, 1862 - 1921 (NAID 569429). (8880 item descriptions) Williams Numbers Maps , 1928 - 1957 … Continue reading Special Media Catalog Updates

Photograph of Josephine Cobb inspecting a Mathew Brady photograph.

Visual Cues and Clues: Picking the Right Record Group for Still Pictures

Photograph of Josephine Cobb holding a Mathew Brady photograph. Local Identifier: 64-NA-1595, NAID: 12169321. Finding a specific photograph on the internet can be easy. Finding a specific photograph within the holdings of the National Archives can be trickier. If you have a specific photograph you found in the course of your research and it is … Continue reading Visual Cues and Clues: Picking the Right Record Group for Still Pictures

A Symbol of Spring: The Cherry Blossoms of Washington, D.C.

Happy Peak Bloom Week!  According the The National Park Service, peak bloom for the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. means that "70% of the Yoshino Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis) blossoms are open.  Peak bloom varies annually depending on weather conditions. The most likely time to reach peak bloom is between the last week of March … Continue reading A Symbol of Spring: The Cherry Blossoms of Washington, D.C.

“Hello Girls” – Women Telephone Operators during WWI

The Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit, known as the "Hello Girls", was a unit of women who operated telephone switchboards, sworn into the U.S. Army Signal Corps, during World War I. The term, "Hello Girls", was used for women who first greeted callers with the word "hello". The corps was formed due to a … Continue reading “Hello Girls” – Women Telephone Operators during WWI

50 Years Makes a Difference! How Film Research Has Changed Since the 1972 Conference on Audiovisual Archives

You may have heard that the National Archives is partnering with the University of Maryland Cinema and Media Studies Program to present Films of State, an online conference on government-produced moving images (if not, check out my last blog post for more background). What you may not know is that the National Archives sponsored a … Continue reading 50 Years Makes a Difference! How Film Research Has Changed Since the 1972 Conference on Audiovisual Archives

Spotlight: Learning More About Female Firefighters From Universal News Production Files

The Universal Newsreel Collection chronicles some of the most important historical, cultural and sporting events and trends of the early to mid 20th Century. Among the footage of military invasions, coronations, and Olympics it is possible to find footage of lesser known citizens who also made their mark on history. One such story comes from a … Continue reading Spotlight: Learning More About Female Firefighters From Universal News Production Files

Introducing Films of State, a Conference on Government Films

Today I am thrilled to tell you about something we’ve been working on: Films of State, a three day online conference focused on government films and NARA’s holdings, scheduled for April 7-9, 2021. We’ve partnered with the University of Maryland Cinema and Media Studies program and gathered an international slate of scholars to discuss some … Continue reading Introducing Films of State, a Conference on Government Films

Coal Mining in Alaska: Coal Fields of the Alaska Engineering Commission

Mining has been a vital part of Alaska’s economy for hundreds of years. Often when we think of mining in Alaska, we think of gold mining and the gold rush of the late 1800s. In addition to gold, however, Alaska’s mining industry also produces zinc, lead, copper, silver, and coal, as well as, construction materials … Continue reading Coal Mining in Alaska: Coal Fields of the Alaska Engineering Commission