Capturing the Beauty of America’s National Parks: National Park Service Master Plan Covers

August 25th marks the birthday of the National Park Service, which was established on that date in 1916. Over the course of the last 100 plus years, the National Park Service has grown, and now includes over 400 parks, representing America's vast array of natural wonders and significant historic sites. The Cartographic Branch holds a … Continue reading Capturing the Beauty of America’s National Parks: National Park Service Master Plan Covers

Cartographic’s Favorites of 2017

Co-written with Amy Edwards The Cartographic Branch holds a wide variety of materials. While working with these documents for reference requests, projects, or research room requests, our staff comes across some very cool and significant documents. Today, we are featuring a few of our favorite records that we've come across this year. We hope that … Continue reading Cartographic’s Favorites of 2017

Favorite Film Finds of 2017

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 continue an annual tradition, we’ve identified a handful of films that were digitized in 2017 and found their … Continue reading Favorite Film Finds of 2017

African-American Filmmaker William Greaves on Booker T. Washington & Frederick Douglass

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the Motion Picture Preservation Lab. William Greaves was a prominent African-American filmmaker and producer, working from the 1960s through the 2000s. Greaves began as an actor, becoming a member of The Actors Studio in 1948. He won an Emmy Award for the groundbreaking TV newsmagazine series Black Journal and … Continue reading African-American Filmmaker William Greaves on Booker T. Washington & Frederick Douglass

Classes, Teachers, Workbooks – School in the CCC

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was established by Congress in early 1933 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.  As the country faced the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl in the 1930's, several government initiatives were developed to provide relief. This relief was often accomplished through job creation. Although many of the programs … Continue reading Classes, Teachers, Workbooks – School in the CCC

Spotlight: Construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway

This week’s post highlights photographs from RG 30, Records of the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR). These images come from series 30-RW and depict the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway from the clearing of land to paving. The series begins with images from 1931 depicting the construction of Skyline Drive, a scenic road that connects to the … Continue reading Spotlight: Construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Majestic Mount Rainier: Finding My Park in the Archives

This year the National Park Service is celebrating its Centennial and encouraging Americans to “Find Your Park.” Even though I now reside on the opposite side of the country, I know my park will always be Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State. Growing up outside Seattle, my family took advantage of summer weather to … Continue reading Majestic Mount Rainier: Finding My Park in the Archives

An Update on Kodacolor Decoded

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the National Archives' Motion Picture Preservation Lab. You might remember a fun little post last summer about the Yellowstone Kodacolor discovered within a National Park Accession deposited with NARA in 2012. The Yellowstone Kodacolor is one 453’ reel of 16mm “reversal.”  An early … Continue reading An Update on Kodacolor Decoded

Happy July Fourth! John Huston’s “Birthday Present” to America

“All films are created equal. I don’t think there is such a thing as a small film. We’re not pulling any punches here. Scene for scene, everything is being done to the best of our abilities. Each scene as we make it is the best scene I’ve ever made—in my imagination.” –John Huston, on Independence In … Continue reading Happy July Fourth! John Huston’s “Birthday Present” to America

Performing the Past: Archives Specialist Mark Meader Makes History Come Alive

It’s no surprise that history is a passion for many of the employees at the National Archives and Records Administration. But even in this environment, there are people whose dedication to interpreting the past stands out. For over forty years, Mark Meader, an Archives Specialist in NARA’s Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Branch, has participated … Continue reading Performing the Past: Archives Specialist Mark Meader Makes History Come Alive