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

World War II Records Digitized

World War II records from the Adjutant General’s Office of the War Department (Record Group 407) have been digitized and are available to view and download from the National Archives Catalog. This series consists of maps and charts, overlays, city plans, aerial photographs, photomaps, pencil sketches, and architectural drawings relating to the European, Mediterranean, and … Continue reading World War II Records Digitized

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

As the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Turns 100, We Look Back at Cartographic Records Spanning the History of Arlington National Cemetery

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

“…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)

Of Civil Works, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, and the Randomness of Records in the Cartographic Branch

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 Maps from the Army Corps of Engineers Now Digitized

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

Census Enumeration District Maps for 1940 and 1950 Available Digitally in Our Catalog

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

The Only Constant in the Nation’s Capital is Change!

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!

The Washington National Monument – A National Contest for a National Monument

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