The Devil’s Brigade: The First Special Service Force

The First Special Service Force, a Joint U.S.-Canadian Fighting Unit: The insignia of the First Special Service Force, composed of US and Canadian soldiers in training at Ft. William Henry Harrison, Montana, is an Indian spearhead of deep red with the “USA” and “Canada” forming a white T against the background. The patch is worn … Continue reading The Devil’s Brigade: The First Special Service Force

Living “the future of our past”: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Archives II

This post was created in collaboration with Phillip Wong, Archives Technician in the Still Picture Branch. On October 17, 1989, the ground shook as a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit San Francisco, interrupting game 3 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics. Across the country, the ground was also shifting. … Continue reading Living “the future of our past”: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Archives II

Celebrating the 221st Anniversary of The Louisiana Purchase with Special Media

To celebrate the 221st anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase on April 30, let’s use the catalog to see related records! On April 30, 1803, 828,000 square miles of land were purchased by the United States from the then-owner of its territory, France, for $15 million, which today would be about $342 million. Napoleon Bonaparte famously … Continue reading Celebrating the 221st Anniversary of The Louisiana Purchase with Special Media

In Full Bloom: Still Photographs of Cherry Blossoms

For more than a hundred years, we have celebrated cherry blossoms blooming along the Tidal Basin. First planted in 1912, the cherry trees were a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. Here in the Still Picture Branch at the National Archives, we have many photographs within our holdings that show the beauty of the cherry trees throughout the years.

Power & Light: Russell Lee’s Coal Survey Exhibit

I’m pleased to announce the recent opening of a new exhibit at the National Archives Building, Power & Light: Russell Lee’s Coal Survey, which will run until July 6, 2025. The creation of the exhibit was a collaborative effort between our Museum staff and the Still Picture Branch. The exhibit features photographs from the series … Continue reading Power & Light: Russell Lee’s Coal Survey Exhibit

Documerica Photographer Spotlight: Erik Calonius

Today’s post is written by Larry Shockley, archives specialist in NARA’s Office of Innovation.  In 1972 a freelance photographer by the name of Erik Calonius was hired by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to capture photographs relating to EPA activities, environmental problems, and everyday American life in the 1970’s. Many of the photos that Calonius … Continue reading Documerica Photographer Spotlight: Erik Calonius

Spotlight: Valentine’s Day Greetings and Dances

Happy Valentine's Day from the National Archives Special Media Division! Did you know that the oldest known printed Valentine's Day card was published in January 1797? The verse printed on the card reads: "Since on this ever Happy day,All Nature's full of Love and PlayYet harmless still if my design,'Tis but to be your Valentine." … Continue reading Spotlight: Valentine’s Day Greetings and Dances

Sergeant Dennis Fisher and Marine Corps Combat Photography in Vietnam

Camera slate taken April 13, 1968 during Operation No Name II. Courtesy of Sergeant Dennis Fisher. As a photographer, you know what it takes to make a good picture but doing it under combat conditions challenges everything you have ever learned. Sergeant Dennis Fisher In April, the Still Picture Branch was fortunate enough to welcome … Continue reading Sergeant Dennis Fisher and Marine Corps Combat Photography in Vietnam

Breakfast in the Archives!

Every now and then when looking through a box of photographs in our holdings, a new potential "thread" of information will present itself that sparks curiosity for further research on a particular keyword. Sometimes it's a subject or topic directly relating to the reference request I am working on, and sometimes it is completely random. Recently, the word "Breakfast" popped into my head and immediately following was the thought: I wonder what we have on that!

60th Anniversary of the March on Washington

Participants of the March on Washington, D.C. Local ID: 306-SSM-4C-35-4 August 28, 2023, is the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, also known as the March on Washington. More than 200,000 people took part in the demonstration held on the National Mall to advocate for Black Americans' civil and economic … Continue reading 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington