11 September 2014

FBI Digitizes Millions of Files -- I wonder if in the future genealogists will benefit ?!?!

The era of sliding drawers full of aging FBI files is drawing to a close. Millions of fingerprint cards, criminal history folders, and civil identity files that once filled rows upon rows of cabinets—and expansive warehouses—have been methodically converted into ones and zeroes. The digital conversion of more than 30 million records—and as many as 83 million fingerprint cards—comes as the FBI fully activates its Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, a state-of-the-art digital platform of biometric and other types of identity information. 

Do watch the video and read the box “A Dying Art” which gives insight into how finger-print matching used to take place.

Though we don’t often want to think we have scofflaws in our family, they leave such a rich paper trail that it is actually kind of nice to find one or more in the family.  You can at least count on there being some paperwork about them. We have previously talked about Using FBI Files for Genealogy Research.

Some other neat resources if you are interested in pursuing research into FBI files are:
+ A Guide to Conducting Research in FBI Records -- detailed information about the records of the FBI
+ "The FBI and Your Ancestor?" by Melchiori, Marie Varrelman NGS NewsMagazine 32:4 (October/November/December 2006), pp. 24-28. [NGS members can access for FREE] 

What do you think?  Might future genealogists be able to more easily access these FBI files given that they are now digitized?

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