Off the Board: Photographs of Past NFL Draftees

In light of the 2018 NFL Draft taking place this week, April 26th – 28th, we at The Unwritten Record decided to highlight some of the football related records in our Still Pictures collection. Dating all the way back to 1936, the NFL Draft represents a time during the “off-season” when teams reload their rosters … Continue reading Off the Board: Photographs of Past NFL Draftees

Spotlight: Remembering Ernie Pyle

On April 18th, 1945, war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed by enemy fire on  Iejima* during the Battle of Okinawa. At the time of his death, Pyle, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, was well-known for his intimate and personal storytelling that highlighted the experiences of the “average” soldier. Pyle was able to tell the stories … Continue reading Spotlight: Remembering Ernie Pyle

Y2K: The New Year’s Disaster That Wasn’t

“Since the Council began its work, the enormity of the year 2000 problem has become increasingly apparent. It is not just a Federal systems problem or an American problem, it is a global problem.” -President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion, May 5, 1998, https://catalog.archives.gov/id/18514276 Humanity’s worst fears about a Y2K meltdown on January 1, 2000 never … Continue reading Y2K: The New Year’s Disaster That Wasn’t

Operation Hi-jump: Exploring Antarctica with the U.S. Navy

In August of 1946, a year after the end of World War II, the United States Navy mounted an expedition to Antarctica officially titled The United States Navy Antarctic Developments Program, 1946-1947. The mission, more commonly referred to as Operation Hi-jump, was organized by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Jr., USN (Ret) and led by Rear Admiral Richard H. … Continue reading Operation Hi-jump: Exploring Antarctica with the U.S. Navy

Polar, Planes, and Puppies: The Photos of E.J. Demas

Though the first Byrd Antarctic Expedition took place more than twenty years after the likes of Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton, little had changed when it came to the available methods of transportation. Explorer Richard E. Byrd had large tractors to move supplies, but still relied heavily on dog sleds, skis, and schooners ships, which … Continue reading Polar, Planes, and Puppies: The Photos of E.J. Demas

Favorite Film Finds of 2016

This post was written with Heidi Holmstrom. In the past year, staff in the motion picture preservation lab handled millions of feet of film. Films might come to us for inspection and repair, photochemical duplication, or digitization. To follow up last year’s list, we’ve identified a handful of films that were digitized in 2016 and … Continue reading Favorite Film Finds of 2016

Photographs of Military Mascots in WWI

Years before the United States Marine Corps officially adopted the bulldog as its mascot or the United States Military academy adopted the mule, many military regiments adopted mascots and pets. Some were donated by local groups and many were found. Many of these mascots had jobs, whether utilitarian or ceremonial. Pigeons carried messages, dogs helped … Continue reading Photographs of Military Mascots in WWI

Obsolete Instruction, or What to Do When Your St. Bernard Has a Hangover

The rumors would usually start at lunchtime. “Did you hear we’re watching a movie today?” The whispers and the excitement would grow during recess, and then came exclamations of joy and/or relief as we filed back into the classroom to find the projector set up. For the next twenty minutes (or longer with the inevitable … Continue reading Obsolete Instruction, or What to Do When Your St. Bernard Has a Hangover

Before They Were Famous: Actors Who Appeared in Government Films

Robert Mitchum To the People of the United States, 1943 (Local Identifier: 90.13) More than a decade before he terrorized children as creepy preacher Harry Powell in Night of the Hunter (1955), and two years prior to his Oscar-nominated role as Lieutenant Walker in The Story of G.I. Joe (1945), Robert Mitchum played a grounded … Continue reading Before They Were Famous: Actors Who Appeared in Government Films

Playing Fetch with Pilot Whales: The Navy’s Project Deep Ops

Back in June, we published a post about animals in the military. It featured war dogs, bat and pigeon bombs, and monkey saboteurs. We thought we’d covered everything, but almost as soon as that post was published, we digitized a film for our research room that highlights torpedo-retrieving whales. One of these whales is Ahab. … Continue reading Playing Fetch with Pilot Whales: The Navy’s Project Deep Ops