Science, Technology, Invention in History:
Impact, Influence, Change

Examples of digitized images and documents from the National Archives and Records Administration related to the 1999 National History Day theme.

Search the Online Catalog (OPA) for digitized images and documents that may be helpful for National History Day research on Science, Technology, and Invention.

The following examples are just a few of the digitized images found by conducting online catalog searches with the words railroads, atomic, and space.

The Transcontinental Railroad

Joining the tracks for the first transcontinental railroad, Promontory, Utah Territory, 1869. (National Archives Identifier: 513341)

Annual Report from the Union Pacific Railroad Company announcing the connection of its rails with those of the Central Pacific Railroad, 1869.

View Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

The Atomic Bomb

Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., pilot of the ENOLA GAY, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, waves from his cockpit before the takeoff, August 6, 1945. (National Archives Identifier: 535736)

A dense column of smoke rises more than 60,000 feet into the air over the Japanese port of Nagasaki, the result of an atomic bomb, the second ever used in warfare, dropped on the industrial center August 8, 1945, from a U.S. B-29 Superfortress. (National Archives Identifier: 535795)

Facts About Fallout, 1955. Government Printing Office. (Search Hint: To retrieve the entire brochure, search in the online catalog by entering (National Archives Identifier: 306714)

A valuable collection not in the Online Catalog:
The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb. Study Collection from Project Whistlestop at the Harry S. Truman Library. http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections
/bomb /large/bomb.htm

The Space Race

Memorandum of Conference with President Eisenhower on October 8, 1957. (This document relates to Sputnik and has a second page.) (National Archives Identifier: 186623)

Photograph of the XS-1 in Flight. (National Archives Identifier: 295649)

Pilot's Notes from the Ninth Powered Flight of the XS-1. (Search Hint: To retrieve pilot's notes from 5 other flights, search in the online catalog by entering National Archives Identifier: 295642)

President Kennedy inspects interior of "Friendship 7." President Kennedy, Col. John Glenn, Jr., others. Cape Canaveral, FL, Hangar "S". (National Archives Identifier: 194245)

Your Turn

The Online Catalog (OPA) replaces its prototypes, the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) and NARA Archival Information Locator (NAIL). You can still perform a keyword, digitized image and location search. The Online Catalog's advanced functionalities also allow you to search by organization, person, or topic.

The Online Catalog is a searchable database that contains information about a wide variety of NARA holdings across the country. You can use the online catalog to search record descriptions by keywords or topics and retrieve digital copies of selected textual documents, photographs, maps, and sound recordings related to thousands of topics.

Currently, about 80% of NARA's vast holdings have been described in the online catalog. Digital images can also be searched in the online catalog. In keeping with NARA's Strategic Plan, the percentage of holdings described in the online catalog will grow continually.

Be creative with your searches. Brainstorm as many terms that are related to your topic as possible. For example, if you are interested in technology during World War II and its impact on women in the workforce, instead of searching ARC for "Rosie the Riveter," try war + women (Identifier: 513675 ), or Navy + women (Identifier: 516170), or Navy + aviation + women (Identifier: 520742).

Five online activities designed to assist users in navigating through the online catalog and the rest of the National Archives and Records Administration Web site are available.

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