U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Fingerprint Science - How To Roll, Classify, File and Use Fingerprints

NCJ Number
C G Collins
Date Published
150 pages
Written primarily for beginning and intermediate fingerprint classifiers, this book explains the basic principles and techniques of fingerprint classification, identification, and filing.
The manual is also intended as a reference source for experienced technicians. An introduction explains the meaning of fingerprints and the history of their classification. A description of fingerprint pattern types explains the three main categories of arches, loops, and whorls and the eight further subdivisions of these three main groups. The formula for fingerprint classification is presented in terms of its seven sections: primary, secondary, subsecondary, major, final, key, and second subsecondary. The classification of scarred, amputated, missing, bandaged, and unprinted fingers is also explained. The system for sequencing and filing prints is outlined, as are methods for searching and referencing fingerprints. Additional chapters explain techniques for taking good fingerprints, problems in taking inked fingerprints, the proper procedures for taking major case prints of suspects and others, and the preparation of fingerprint charts for court testimony. Problems and techniques in fingerprinting dead persons are also discussed. Extensive illustrations are supplied. Appendixes explain a system for numerically coding fingerprints and various computerized fingerprint analysis techniques.


No download available