The FBI’s fingerprint files called ‘Notorious Dead Criminals’

The FBI’s fingerprint files called ‘Notorious Dead Criminals’
International Photography Grant 2019

Filing doesn’t have to be dull. Here is the evidence — in more ways than one. These photos picture the FBI’s overflow filing system, housed during World War 2 in the Washington, D.C. Armory. By the early 1940s, the FBI’s archive housed more than 23 million card and 10 million fingerprint records, with 400,000 new cards added each and every month. Since 1999, the FBI has stored and accessed its fingerprint database via the digital IAFIS –Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System.

Files of the Federal Bureau of Investiga

Image: George Skadding/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

FBI-fingerprint-files-02

Image: FBI

FBI agent examining fingerprints.  (Phot

Image: George Skadding/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

FBI-fingerprint-files-04

Image: George Skadding/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Overall view of large file room at FBI h

Image: George Skadding/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Close-up of file drawer at FBI office.

Image: George Skadding/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Files of the Federal Bureau of Investiga

Image: George Skadding/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Overall view of large file room at FBI h

Image: George Skadding/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

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International Photography Grant 2019