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!

Travelling Back in Time to the New York City of 1767-1768 via the Ratzen Map

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

RG 263 CIA Published Maps: A Digitization Project In Progress

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

RG 76: Maps and Records Pertaining to the Northeastern Boundary of the United States – An Artistic Glimpse of Past

Deep in the stacks of the Cartographic Branch at Archives II, nestled in RG 76, is a series entitled “Maps and Records Pertaining to the Northeastern Boundary of the United States”.   This series contains manuscript maps and drawings of various locations along the border, including a set of spectacular color drawings and manuscript maps offering … Continue reading RG 76: Maps and Records Pertaining to the Northeastern Boundary of the United States – An Artistic Glimpse of Past

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

Mapping the Battle of Shiloh

As you may know, the Cartographic Branch holds many maps relating to Civil War battles and sites. However, what you may not know is that many of these maps are available to view anytime and anywhere through the National Archives Online Catalog. Today we're featuring maps showing the Shiloh Battlefield. All of the maps featured … Continue reading Mapping the Battle of Shiloh

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

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