19th Century Photographic Processes and Formats

Working within the Special Media Division presents many challenges. Not only do staff strive to become experts on the subject matter covered within our holdings, but also the physical format and the processes that made them. In the Still Picture Branch, we have a wide range of photographic formats and processes that provide unique preservation … Continue reading 19th Century Photographic Processes and Formats

Summer Road Trip: Albuquerque to Las Vegas

Entering: Albuquerque, New Mexico As we leave Texas and the Boll Weevils in our rear-view, we continue our journey through the Southwest with a stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We enter Albuquerque through Record Groups 18-AA: "Airscapes" of American and Foreign Areas, 1917 – 1964; 30-N: Historical Photograph Files, 1896 – 1963; and 75-AO: Photographs … Continue reading Summer Road Trip: Albuquerque to Las Vegas

Summer Road Trip 2019: Texas

After leaving New Orleans, the Special Media Division headed west towards Texas. Photographs of the Lone Star State can be found in records related to the Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, as well as the Bureau of Public Roads, NASA, and many others.  On this road trip, however, we decided to take … Continue reading Summer Road Trip 2019: Texas

“A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

"A picture is worth a thousand words...." Or so the saying goes. In reality, a photograph only documents a second in time, and as time goes on, it is easy to forget why a particular moment was so important to capture. However, well-captioned photographs can tell us stories; they can give us information about the … Continue reading “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

Slide 1 of the winning memorial deisgn

Looking Back at the Korean War Veterans Memorial Competition

As Memorial Day 2018 approaches, we thought it would be appropriate to draw attention to a unique series in our Still-Picture Branch, RG 117-KDS, which covers a competition that took place in the 1980’s to design the Korean War Veterans Memorial. In 1986, the American Battle Monuments Commission was authorized to build a war memorial … Continue reading Looking Back at the Korean War Veterans Memorial Competition

Spotlight: Dogs in Airbrush

Airbrushing was an early method of retouching and coloring photographs which can be traced back as far as the late 1800s. It is a unique process which creates a beautiful matte effect, causing images to look as though they are caught somewhere between photograph and painting. While the technology is still employed today, in the … Continue reading Spotlight: Dogs in Airbrush

The Digitization of 26-LG

Many different factors are considered when selecting a series for digitization. Records that are particularly fragile or have high intrinsic value might be digitized to help preserve the originals by reducing the amount of physical handling each item receives. Records that are of high historical value might be digitized for posterity in order to ensure … Continue reading The Digitization of 26-LG

Spotlight: Flag Day

The flag of the United States of America was adopted 240 years ago on June 14, 1777. Throughout our nation's history our flag has taken on many forms, growing with the country it so proudly represents. It has also taken on many affectionate monikers - the American Flag; the Stars and Stripes; Old Glory; the … Continue reading Spotlight: Flag Day

Aliens at the Archives

On December 30, 1947, the United States Air Force (USAF) began the process of collecting and evaluating all facts related to flying saucers and other types of unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Between 1947 and 1969, 12,618 sightings were reported to the USAF program titled Project Blue Book, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Scientists and … Continue reading Aliens at the Archives