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

We Can Do It!: World War II Posters at the Still Picture Branch

Many recognize Rosie the Riveter’s “We Can Do It!” or Uncle Sam’s “I Want You” posters from World War II. Just as the posters created a rousing call to the public at the time of their creation, they also serve as hallmarks of the Second World War. The Still Picture Branch at the National Archives … Continue reading We Can Do It!: World War II Posters at the Still Picture Branch

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