Subject Finding Aid Project

While the pandemic significantly altered our day-to-day responsibilities in the Still Picture Branch, our team adapted to the challenges presented by the work-from-home environment and bolstered our Research and Reference capabilities by increasing access to our holdings, digitally and on-site.  One of the projects we’ve undertaken to help in this endeavor is the description and … Continue reading Subject Finding Aid Project

Visual Cues and Clues: Looking ON the Photo

Photograph of Researcher in the Central Search Room of the National Archives Building. 64-PR-20-1, NAID: 74228254 In this edition of Visual Cues and Clues, let’s step outside the box and explore photographs from a different angle. Instead of looking at what’s in the photograph, let’s explore what’s on the photograph. Markings, emblems, and logos sometimes … Continue reading Visual Cues and Clues: Looking ON the Photo

Spotlight: US Air Force World War II Photography

Photograph of Members of the Tokyo Raid; Local Identifier: 342-FH-3A-48559-59885AC; NAID: 148728204 If you’re searching for World War II-era United States Air Force photography, look no further! Earlier this year, scans were added to our online catalog for nearly all of the World War II, US Air Force photography. Originally, the military branch was known … Continue reading Spotlight: US Air Force World War II Photography

Photograph of Josephine Cobb inspecting a Mathew Brady photograph.

Visual Cues and Clues: Picking the Right Record Group for Still Pictures

Photograph of Josephine Cobb holding a Mathew Brady photograph. Local Identifier: 64-NA-1595, NAID: 12169321. Finding a specific photograph on the internet can be easy. Finding a specific photograph within the holdings of the National Archives can be trickier. If you have a specific photograph you found in the course of your research and it is … Continue reading Visual Cues and Clues: Picking the Right Record Group for Still Pictures

Mug Books: An Unusual Avenue of Genealogical Inquiry

Today's post was written by Claire Kluskens, Genealogy/Census Subject Matter Expert and Digital Projects Archivist at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Photographs are highly sought-after by many family historians, especially when such precious artifacts are lost due to relocating, estrangement, natural disaster, or simple neglect. They serve not only as a visual aid to … Continue reading Mug Books: An Unusual Avenue of Genealogical Inquiry

Alexander Gardner’s Photographs of the Civil War

Alexander Gardner may be best known for his photographic work during the American Civil War era of the 1860s. Gardner was born in Scotland in 1821 and started originally as an apprentice jeweler. After seeing Mathew Brady’s photographs at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, Gardner knew he had to be involved in the … Continue reading Alexander Gardner’s Photographs of the Civil War

Caretakers of the Sky: The Wright Brothers and Recording the Aerial Age

Today marks the 117th anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, ushering in the age of powered flight.  To celebrate this incredible milestone, we would like to present records related to the Wright Brothers and their achievement. The dawn of the twentieth century was a time of tremendous scientific progress … Continue reading Caretakers of the Sky: The Wright Brothers and Recording the Aerial Age

Space and Beyond: Locating NASA Photographs Using Online Indexes

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) photographic records is one of the largest groups of records within the holdings of the Still Picture Branch. The photographs range in date between 1903 and 2011, and include subject matter such as daily operations, personnel, events, facilities, and come in the form of both analog and born-digital … Continue reading Space and Beyond: Locating NASA Photographs Using Online Indexes

Pumpkin, Spice, and Everything Nice: The Fall Season Along the National Scenic Byways

As the leaves start to change with the seasons, we can take this time to enjoy the cooler temperatures and fall foliage. Fittingly, the fall season may be some of the best times to explore the country through photographs, and there is no doubt the National Scenic Byways of the United States are home to … Continue reading Pumpkin, Spice, and Everything Nice: The Fall Season Along the National Scenic Byways

Still Picture Branch Artifacts

Sometimes when receiving permanent photographic records from federal agencies, we find surprises within the boxes. These can include photographic related items and non-photographic artifacts. For this post, I am highlighting just some of these items, but certainly not all found within our Still Picture Branch holdings. One of our favorite non-photographic items are J. Edgar … Continue reading Still Picture Branch Artifacts