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International Association for Identification Records

Collection Number: A&M 3518

Scope and Contents

View a selection of nearly 3000 digital images from this collection online at the International Association for Identification (IAI) Collection website (see link in Instances). These digital images represent only a fraction of the entire collection.

There are nine series in this collection:

Series 1--Historical Information; 1921-1998; boxes 1a-b (2 document cases)
Series 2--IAI Group Chapters Records; 1971-2001; boxes 2-4 (4 document cases)
Series 3--Doepner/Faulds Papers; 1842-1988; boxes 5-74 (84 document cases)
Series 4--Forensic Identification/Investigation Reference Material (FIRM); 1913-1996; boxes 75-107 (34 document cases)
Series 5--Conferences/Seminars; 1922-1998; boxes 108-116 (11 document cases)
Series 6--Subjects; 1897-2000; boxes 117-128 (13 document cases)
Series 7--IAI Library; 1893-2001; boxes 129-204 (76 document cases)
Series 8--Audio/Visual; 1897-1995 (majority 1973-1991); boxes 205-213 (9 document cases)
Series 9--Addendum of 2021-12-10; 1904-1967; box 214 (1 document case)

Series 1--Historical Information consists of: (a) articles about Henry Faulds, his family tree by genealogist Shelia Pitcairn, issues of Fingerprint and Identification Magazine that pertain to him, paperwork and news articles regarding a commemorative plaque and restoration of his grave, photocopies of Dactylography Magazine from the time when Faulds was its founder and editor, publications authored by George W. Wilton which defend the legacy of Faulds, etc.; (b) documentation (including letters) regarding the acquisition and provenance of the Doepner-Faulds collection as well as other aspects of the IAI library, listings of IAI library holdings, etc.

This series was assembled by collating items on the basis of their labeling -- with few exceptions these items were found labeled with numbers recorded to "Doepner bookplates" or stamps. In addition to the Doepner labels, there is indication that certain items were from Faulds's library too. Items from Doepner's library, especially item no. 007-001, indicate that he purchased what was left of Faulds's library and estate papers after the execution of Faulds's will. In many cases it appears impossible to know with certainty whose library the materials came from. In any case, it can be assumed that the materials came together as a whole in Doepner's library, and eventually the IAI library.

The "Fingerprint & Identification Magazine" found in this series for 1919 to 1988 was assembled by combining the earlier issues collected by Doepner with later issues found elsewhere in the collection.

Series 2--IAI Group Chapters consists of newsletters and membership information of individual IAI chapters (by state or region) including Rocky Mountain, Pennsylvania, Pacific Northwest, Texas, California, and others.

Series 3--Doepner/Faulds contains the combined libraries of Herman Doepner and Henry Faulds (see collection notes.) The series is divided into subseries: Letters (boxes 5-6), Manuscripts (box 7), Notes (boxes 8-10a), Reports (box 10b), Transcriptions (box 11-12b), Clippings (boxes 13-18), Reprints (boxes 19a-19b), Pamphlets (boxes 20-23), Journals (boxes 24-34), Books (boxes 35a-52b), Fingerprint and Identification Magazine (boxes 53-70), Schriftenreihe des Bundeskriminalamtes (boxes 71-72), La Plata Publications (boxes 72-73), Subject Files (box 74a), and Photographs (boxes 74a-74b).

Series 4--Forensic Identification Reference Material (FIRM) contains loose articles, pamphlets, booklets, materials from binders, photocopies, etc. For the most part, these items were organized on the basis of what appeared to be the predominate topic to which they pertained such as handwriting, fingerprints, footwear, firearms, forensic science, evidence, fraud, light, photography, etc. The materials are mainly contemporary except for "Early Publications" and "Applied Science Institute/University".

"Early Publications" in this series include pamphlets printed in the 1920s to 1940s mostly regarding fingerprint identification, among other topics.

The "Applied Science Institute / University" material is an educational series of publications on multiple topics from an organization in Chicago. The items begin with the first edition from 1916 and extend to the 36th edition of 1993.

Series 5--Conferences / Seminars consists of conference or seminar material arranged by topic or by the organization sponsoring an event; includes crime, photography, fingerprinting, questioned documents, IAI, etc.

Series 6--Subjects consists of miscellaneous material regarding a variety of topics including: large posters demonstrating Bertillon methods; Carey Chapman book draft; fingerprint kits from the Forensic Press; contents and book jackets from the circulating portion of the IAI collection; international criminal cards (for comparative analysis of criminal profiling); various forensic-related organizations' directories and handbooks; ritualistic crimes; advertisements; and personal papers.

Series 7--IAI Library contains Journals (boxes 129-171), Foreign Language Material (boxes 171-180), Books (boxes 181-203), and Oversized Material (box 204). An electronic version of the 2012 IAI Membership Directory is available; consult a curator for access.

Series 8--Audio/Visual contains multiple slides, one microfilm, and multiple VHS tapes. The VHS tapes were copied to DVD discs which are stored with this collection.

Series 9--Addendum of 2021-12-10 contains 13 books, journal issues, and pamphlets regarding fingerprints and other identification-related subjects.


  • Creation: 1842-2007, 2012
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1910-1959


Conditions Governing Access

No special access restriction applies.

Researchers may access born digital and digitized materials by visiting the link attached to each item or by requesting to view the materials in person by appointment or remotely by contacting the West Virginia & Regional History Center reference department at

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please see the Permissions and Copyright page on the West Virginia and Regional History Center website.

Biographical / Historical

International Association of Identification:

During August of 1915, Inspector Harry H. Caldwell of the Oakland (California) Police Department's Bureau of Identification called for the creation of an organization to further the aims of the identification profession. At the October meeting in Oakland, twenty-two men formed the 'International Association for Criminal Identification' with Caldwell presiding. By the second annual conference in 1916, membership was at 116 regular members and 13 honorary members. The word 'criminal' was excluded from the Association's name in 1918 since identification was not limited to criminals. In 1921, at the seventh annual conference in Washington, DC, members were received at the White House, and during this meeting the fingerprints of President Harding were recorded. This level of communication and influence was maintained between the government and the IAI for years, especially during the 1930s when the FBI and IAI established a close relationship. The only time that the IAI did not hold an annual conference was in 1945 due to restricted travel as part of wartime conservation efforts.

In 1916, the first periodical of the IAI emerged. Though funding issues, different formats, and title and content changes occurred, the IAI still publishes their own periodical, which is now called The Journal of Forensic Identification. In 1926 the first woman was elected to the IAI Board of Directors; in 1942 the first woman was elected IAI President.

The Association currently (2007) has 45 Divisions representing 50 states and territories, and 69 countries. There are more than 6,000 members. There are several honors, certification programs, research grants, scholarships, and sponsorships that the IAI created, supports, and/or remains funding.

Henry Faulds:

Henry Faulds was born in Scotland in 1843 and died in Wolstanton in 1930. He held a physician's license after graduating at Anderson's College, and then became a medical missionary. After marriage in 1873, Faulds was given the assignment to establish a medical mission in Japan. He did so and by 1874 it was a success. It was during his time in Japan that he went to an archaeological dig where he noticed impressions left in clay by the fingers of craftsmen, and then began examining fingertips of acquaintances. He became convinced that pattern ridges were unique to each person, and even exonerated an employee accused of theft at the hospital by comparative analysis of fingerprints. The scientific journal Nature published a paper by Faulds in 1880 regarding the application of fingerprints to forensics. Though he had no direct effect on the practical development of modern forensic methods, Faulds was one of the first to advocate the use of fingerprints for identification.


89 Linear Feet (89 ft. (191 document cases, 5 in. each); (44 document cases, 2.5 in. each); (1 flat storage box, 3 in.))

76.5 Gigabytes (302 files, primarily .doc and .iso files)




Records of the International Association for Identification (IAI), an organization founded in 1915 to further the goals of professionals in the field of forensic identification. Includes newsletters, membership information, letters, reports, clippings, reprints, pamphlets, journals, books, foreign language material, technical reference material, conference and seminar records, and audio-visual material. Also includes items from the library of fingerprint pioneer Henry Faulds which were purchased by Herman Doepner, a private collector and IAI member.

Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL:

Separated Materials

Publications deemed to have no special historical or artifactual significance were separated into the circulating collection. Most of these were published after 1950; items pre-dating 1950 were also included if they were part of multiple copy sets. This date appears to be a natural break for sorting rare and frail material from materials that can circulate. Rare books and journals were left in the collection with the exception of one book that was placed in the Rare Book Room for educational purposes: "The Finger Print Instructor: a text book for the guidance of finger print experts and an instructor for persons interested in the study of finger prints" by Frederick Kuhne, 1927 edition. It has a reserved location at box 197, folder 1 should the need arise to return it to the collection. A duplicate of the 1927 edition, should anyone wish to use it, can be found as item 044-007 in the collection.

International Association for Identification Records
Staff of the West Virginia & Regional History Center
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US