The Library of Congress THE LOC.GOV WISE GUIDE
HOME The Nation's First Transportation Network Parlez-Vous Francais? The Shared History of the Americas Are You A Cat Person? Revolutionary Maps Why Do Toes Wrinkle In The Bath? Grrrl Power! Or, How Stella  Fought The Cattle War
The Nation's First Transportation Network

"Canals" by Robert J. Kapsch is the second volume in the Norton/Library of Congress Visual Sourcebooks series and has been published by the Library of Congress in association with W.W. Norton and Co. It joins "Barns" by George Washington University professor John Michael Vlach, which features more than 800 illustrations from the Library's collections of these unique cultural landmarks.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, Great Falls Tavern

Drawing on the Library's extensive collection of photographs, illustrations and architectural drawings, "Canals" provides the largest single source of material for those interested in the fascinating history of America's first transportation network. The book offers a tour of the more than three dozen structures that by 1835 constituted the 2,500-mile system of canals from New England to the South and from the East Coast to the Midwest. It provides a more detailed visual journey along two of the nation's most famous canals: the Chesapeake and Ohio in the District of Columbia and Maryland (now a national park) and the Morris Canal in New Jersey (largely lost to development).

With captions that furnish relevant information about each image as well as the Library of Congress call number, the book is an essential reference for all enthusiasts of canal landscape and lore. The accompanying CD-ROM contains high-quality, downloadable versions of all the illustrations. The CD also offers a direct link to the Library's online searchable catalogs and image files, including the hundreds of thousands of high-resolution photographs, measured drawings and data files in the Historic American Buildings Survey, Historic American Engineering Record and other collections.

The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) collections are among the largest and most heavily used in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library. The collections document achievements in architecture, engineering and design in the United States and its territories through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies including examples as diverse as the pueblo of Acoma, the Mark Twain House, the Golden Gate Bridge, and buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Kapsch is currently the National Park Service senior scholar in historic architecture and engineering. As special assistant to the deputy director of the National Park Service, he served as project engineer for the restoration of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and its structures. He served for 15 years as chief of the Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record collections, which are now held by the Library of Congress, and is the author of several definitive histories of early American canal engineering, including "The Potomac Canal: A Construction History" and "The Conewago Canal: Pennsylvania's First Canal."

"Canals" and "Barns" are each available for $75 in bookstores nationwide and through the Library's Sales Shop, Washington, DC 20540-4985. Credit card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557 or online.

A. John O. Brostrup, photographer. Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, Great Falls Tavern, Lock 20, MacArthur Boulevard Vicinity, Great Falls, Montgomery County, Md., 1936. Historic American Buildings Survey. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction information: Call no.: HABS, MD,16-20-4

B. Cover of "Canals," by Robert J. Kapsch. W.W. Norton and Co., 2004

The Library of Congress | Contact Us