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

Victory at Yorktown

On the morning of October 19th, 1781, British troops along with their allies marched out of Yorktown, Virginia with flags furled to surrender to combined American and French forces.  The siege and surrender at Yorktown proved to be the decisive blow to British hopes of regaining control of the American colonies. To celebrate the anniversary … Continue reading Victory at Yorktown

The Supreme Court Building (Local Identifier: 64-M-54)

Toward Justice Supreme: Commemorating the Establishment of the Supreme Court

After the ratification of the United States Constitution, newly-elected senators and representatives were faced with the task of creating a functioning government based on a four-page framework. The first session of the First United States Congress, held in 1789 at Federal Hall in New York City, set about erecting many of the institutions of government … Continue reading Toward Justice Supreme: Commemorating the Establishment of the Supreme Court

Summer Road Trip 2019: San Francisco and Yosemite National Park

This post was co-written by Audrey Amidon and Ashley Behringer. On the Streets of San Francisco Next on our summer tour of the National Archives’ non-textual holdings, we move on from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The city has featured prominently in 20th Century American culture and history, from the devastating 1906 earthquake, to the Haight-Ashbury district’s … Continue reading Summer Road Trip 2019: San Francisco and Yosemite National Park

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

Spotlight: Grand Canyon

In honor of Grand Canyon National Park celebrating it's 100th Anniversary on February 26th, The Unwritten Records presents select records from our holdings. Cover of Master Plan for Grand Canyon National Park, 1938 Photo No. 106-WA-227. Grand Canyon, 1872. Photograph by William Bell. Photo No. 57-PS-431A, Grand Canyon looking east from Foot of Torowap, Photograph … Continue reading Spotlight: Grand Canyon

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