Civil War Defenses of Washington Fort Plans Now Available Online

The Cartographic Branch holds thousands of drawings, plans, and maps relating to forts, fortifications, and other military structures. These can be found in a variety of record groups and series, including RG 77 Fortification Map File (NAID 305749), RG 77 Miscellaneous Forts File (NAID 305806), RG 92 Post and Reservation Maps (NAID 305818), RG 92 … Continue reading Civil War Defenses of Washington Fort Plans Now Available Online

Chronicling Cartographic’s Oldest Record: The Polus Antarcticus Map

Always a staff favorite, the Polus Antarcticus atlas page, found within the Cartographic Branch's holdings, shows an early map of the South Pole region and includes interesting (although rather inaccurate) illustrations that decorate the edges of the map. The Cartographic Branch actually holds two copies of this historically significant map. Both can be found within … Continue reading Chronicling Cartographic’s Oldest Record: The Polus Antarcticus Map

Highlights from the War Department Map Collection

The Cartographic Branch is digitizing the Record Group 77, War Department Map Collection (NAID 305808), which consists of maps of both the United States and foreign areas. At this time, only the maps relating to the United States have been digitized, although we hope to digitized the foreign maps in the future. The United States … Continue reading Highlights from the War Department Map Collection

Fire Up the Horses and Let ’em Run! Early Representations of Horsepower from RG 241: Restored Patents

Horsepower!  We hear this common phrase everyday associated with everything from cars to lawn mowers to available human capital.  It's all about power and the power to get things done.  While today the term "horse power" typically refers to the power of an engine in a car or truck and is a single, compound word, … Continue reading Fire Up the Horses and Let ’em Run! Early Representations of Horsepower from RG 241: Restored Patents

Now Available Online: RG 77, Civil Works Map Files, US File Unit!

We are very excited to announce that all of the maps in the US File Unit RG 77: Civil Works Map File have now been digitized and are available online for viewing and download!  These images can be found by searching the National Archives Catalog, NAID #7491452. The records in this series comprised the main … Continue reading Now Available Online: RG 77, Civil Works Map Files, US File Unit!

Mapping the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee

The Cartographic Branch holds maps relating to many well known Civil War battles like Gettysburg, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, and Shiloh. However, we also hold a variety of maps relating to some lesser-known battles. Today we're featuring maps relating to the Battle of Franklin, which took place on November 30, 1864 in Tennessee. In the fall … Continue reading Mapping the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee

Summer Road Trip 2019: Ambling Through the California Desert

This post was co-written by Amy Edwards and Beth Fortson. In this installment of the Summer Road Trip series, we make our way to the desert where we find ourselves at the lowest point in North America, and later, staring at the tallest mountains in southern California. Join us as we explore Death Valley National … Continue reading Summer Road Trip 2019: Ambling Through the California Desert

Summer Road Trip 2019: The Other Fortification in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina

Leaving Raleigh, North Carolina, we head southwest down to Charleston, South Carolina, for the next stop on the Summer Road Trip.  While the first thing that might spring to mind about Charleston is Fort Sumter, that is not the only fortification sitting in Charleston Harbor, though it is the only one that you can still … Continue reading Summer Road Trip 2019: The Other Fortification in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina

75th Anniversary of D-Day

This post was compiled by Harry Kidd.  Harry is a volunteer at the National Archives working on textual and photographic digitization projects.  Harry is a former Navy photographer and came across this story while researching military photographers. On June 6, 1944 tens of thousands of American servicemen landed on the Normandy Beaches. The National Archives' … Continue reading 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Go Take a Hike! The Appalachian Trail Turns 96 Years Old

March 2019 marked the 96th anniversary of the opening of the first section of the Appalachian Trail which ran from Bear Mountain, New York, to Harriman State Park in Arden, New York. The brainchild of forester Benton MacKaye, the Appalachian Trail, or the “A.T.” as it is widely known, started out as an idea for … Continue reading Go Take a Hike! The Appalachian Trail Turns 96 Years Old