For a century, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has been the centerpiece of Arlington National Cemetery. This solemn memorial, the final resting place of three unknown members of the American military, holds a special place in the hearts and minds of American citizens as we reflect upon the meaning of service and sacrifice this … Continue reading As the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Turns 100, We Look Back at Cartographic Records Spanning the History of Arlington National Cemetery
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)
When you work with cartographic records at the National Archives, it is fair to say that you never know what you are going to randomly come across when you open a folder. Sometimes, it is a newer, published map. Sometimes (on a really great day) it is a 200-year-old manuscript map, and somedays, it's random … Continue reading Of Civil Works, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, and the Randomness of Records in the Cartographic Branch
Civil War era and related maps from the Army Corps of Engineers have been digitized and are available to view and download from the National Archives Catalog. The records are part of the Civil Works Map File series from Record Group 77, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers. The records make up … Continue reading Civil War Maps from the Army Corps of Engineers Now Digitized
The Decennial Census of Population and Housing, aka ‘the census,’ counts each resident of the country every ten years. Conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Constitution mandates the enumeration to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. The first census was taken in 1790 during George Washington’s … Continue reading Census Enumeration District Maps for 1940 and 1950 Available Digitally in Our Catalog
If you have ever visited Washington, D.C., one of the most striking features of the city is the National Mall and the area surrounding it. If you stand in the middle of the mall and look due east, you will find yourself facing the stately white dome of the Capitol Building. From there, if you … Continue reading The Only Constant in the Nation’s Capital is Change!
Maybe it is my past as a field archaeologist and a museum geek, but I love a good collection! Projectile points, pottery shards, fossils, drawings, or maps - groupings of things, especially old things catch my eye. So, how was I to resist writing about it when I came across a collection of beautiful drawings … Continue reading The Washington National Monument – A National Contest for a National Monument
There’s just something about old maps – some ineffable quality that draws the attention and makes one stop and bend closer to see what is there……and what’s not there. Has the landscape changed? Are towns missing or are towns shown that no longer exist? Is it engraved or is it a manuscript map? Are there … Continue reading Travelling Back in Time to the New York City of 1767-1768 via the Ratzen Map
While we frequently share interesting early maps from the Cartographic Branch holdings, today we wanted to focus on some of Cartographic's more recent maps. The RG 263 CIA Published Maps (also called the CIA Numbered Maps or Numerical Series) is made up of over 22,000 declassified maps. These maps date primarily from the 1940s to … Continue reading RG 263 CIA Published Maps: A Digitization Project In Progress
The RG 241: Restored Patents (NAID 305885) are finally here and available for viewing and download via the National Archives catalog! In addition to containing some very detailed and colorful images, this series is particularly interesting because of its unique background. In 1836, the Patent Office was being housed in the Blodget Hotel in Washington, … Continue reading RG 241: Restored Patents Now Fully Digitized and Available Online!