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Questioned Documents

Name

Subdiscipline

Maintained
By

Overview
&
Contents

Access
&
Fees

Collection Method

Evidence
Type

POC

Anonymous Letter File Anonymous Writer Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) -- FBI
Laboratory
Contains anonymous letters submitted in cases. Letters are searched through this database to determine if the writer has written previous letters. It searches based on text and not handwriting characteristics. Searched characteristics include (but not limited to): postmark and postal code information, addressee information, phrases. Digital images kept in a database of anonymous letters submitted in cases. ALF contains approximately 8,000 samples. Access through a stand alone system. FBI Laboratory's Questioned Documents Unit will search the system if an outside laboratory or agency has a legitimate request. No cost to access; outside labs and agencies can submit requests to FBI's QDU. Samples are obtained through case submissions. The physical letters are scanned and a digital copy is stored in ALF; the physical copy is returned to the submitter. Digital records. Gabe Watts
Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI Laboratory
703.632.7299
gabriel.watts@
ic.fbi.gov
Automated Counterfeiting Identification Database (ACID) Counterfeits Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) -- FBI Laboratory Database of check images used to identify counterfeit checks according to printing processes and formats utilized to produce the checks. Database is stored in Microsoft Access, and includes images of counterfeit checks created using Adobe Photoshop 7.0. Collection includes about 2,000 records. ACID uses a Microsoft Access database to search and add information. Database is not available for direct access to outside agencies, though these agencies may submit possibly counterfeit checks to the FBI Questioned Documents unit for analysis. No cost to access; outside labs and agencies can submit requests to FBI. Samples are submitted by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. Digital records. Antoine Frazier
Federal Bureau
of Investigations,
FBI Laboratory
703.632.7293                 antoine.frazier@
ic.fbi.gov  
Bank Robbery Note File (BRNF) Anonymous Writer Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) -- FBI Laboratory Contains digital images of demand notes used in bank robberies. Notes are searched through this database to determine if the writer has written previous demand notes. It searches based on such features as wording (combination of words or just a single key word), underlined words, format of the note, placement on the paper, forms used, punctuation, misspelling, if the writing on the note is distorted, and if there is overwriting/obliterations on the note.  Digital images kept in a database of demand notes used in bank robberies submitted in cases. BRNF contains approximately 9,600 samples. Accessed through desktop computers on a share drive. The FBI's Questioned Document Unit has access, but will search demand notes for other agencies if requested. The QDU prefers if the submitting agency submits the original evidence piece (to be returned after examination), however they will work with whatever can be submitted. No cost to access; outside law enforcement agencies can submit requests to the FBI. Samples are obtained through case submissions. The QDU takes notes and digital images of submitted evidence; these notes and images are stored in BRNF. Digital records. After latents or any other examinations that were requested are complete, the original demand note is returned to the contributor.

Meg McHenry
Federal Bureau
of Investigations,
FBI Laboratory
703.632.7283
marguerite.mchenry@
ic.fbi.gov

Contacts if agencies have questions:

FBI Questioned Documents Unit: 703.632.8444

FBI Evidence Control: 703.632.8360

Fax Font Database IV, ASQDE Fax Machine American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (ASQDE) Relational database of images of faxed TTIs (Transmitting Terminal Identifiers). One searches the database using a variety of parameters to try to match a questioned TTI to reference standards to determine possible make/model of fax machine used. Relational database of images of faxed TTIs. There are roughly 950 samples in the latest version. Access is through the Microsoft Access software. The database is provided on a CD to authorized users. Contact the POCs for more information. No cost; access is for ASQDE members. Other FDEs in recognized forensic organizations may also be given access. Samples are collected by a team of ASQDE members. They originate from manufacturers, many FDEs, and some independent unrelated companies. Digital records. Linton Mohammed
American Society
of Questioned
Document Examiners
President
415.672.3514
lamqde@gmail.com
Forensic Information System for Handwriting (FISH) Handwriting US Secret Service, Forensic Services Division FISH technology only exists in the Secret Service and is customized specifically for the Forensic Services Division (FSD) in support of their protective mission. FISH is the repository for all threatening correspondence from federal agencies and other government agencies. FISH is an inventory of scanned digitalized text writing samples that have been plotted as arithmetic and geometric values. FISH contains threats to protectees as well as governors, senators and congressman and is the only repository of its kind in the United States. FISH has a compartmentalized database specifically assigned for letters submitted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which is searched upon request as part of a case investigation. FISH contains approximately 12,000 samples; NCMEC has around 4000 samples. The Secret Service has access to the physical and digital samples. External users send in documents through local USSS field offices and USSS document examiners do the analysis. No cost to access; access is limited to US Secret Service directorates, students through coordinated research initiatives, and law enforcement entities. Obtained from external entities. Requires a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement. Digital records and physical samples. Deborah Leben
US Secret Service,
Forensic Services
Division - Director
202.406.5269
Deborah.Leben@usss.dhs.gov
Geunuine & Counterfeit Database Counterfeits US Secret Service, Forensic Services Division The US Secret Service is currently integrating the Genuine and Counterfeit Databases with the Questioned Identification Document Database. The database functions identically with QID. Authentic and known counterfeit identification documents used for comparison purposes. Also contains information on specific features to determine document authenticity and how to tell if questioned document is forged. The Secret Service has access to the physical and digital samples. External users have to come in and view samples on site by special request. No cost to access; access is limited to US Secret Service directorates, students through coordinated research initiatives, and law enforcement entities. Obtained from external entities. Requires a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement. Digital records and physical samples. Deborah Leben
US Secret Service,
Forensic Services
Division - Director
202.406.5269
Deborah.Leben@usss.dhs.gov
International Ink Library & Digital Ink Library Inks US Secret Service, Forensic Services Division The International Ink Library is a repository of inks dating from the 1920s used to identify type and brand of writing instrument. The Digital Ink Library is the new searchable, electronic version of the International Ink Library. It uses a new high-quality solvent system to separate each ink sample into unique bands. By digitizing the results, the Library allows for accurate, timely classification; secure, real-time sample matching; and irreplaceable inks remain safe from environmental degradation and accidental contamination. Library contains chemically-tested ink formulations. Hits provide type and brand of writing instrument that can help date earliest origin of document. The Library contains approximately 9,000 samples. The Secret Service has access to the physical and digital samples. External users have to come in and view samples on site by special request. No cost to access; access is limited to US Secret Service directorates, students through coordinated research initiatives, and law enforcement entities. Samples are obtained by pen and ink manufacturers, pen-market purchases, and submitted by other agencies. Digital records and physical samples. Deborah Leben
US Secret Service,
Forensic Services
Division -
Director
202.406.5269
Deborah.Leben@
usss.dhs.gov
Keesing Reference Database of Banknotes Counterfeits Kessing Reference Systems (commercial, Netherlands) Reference database with the security features of banknotes from 180 countries. Contains images of the notes as well as information on the individual security features. Over 70,000 full color images of banknotes are represented in the database. It includes information on the security features of over 4,500 banknotes including watermarks, holograms, and UV features. Foster + Freeman is a US vendor who sells this database as a stand-alone product or packaged with its VSC document examination systems. The database can be downloaded online or off a disc. The product contains two parts: the archive version, and a subscription that provides monthly updates. Data is from banknotes from issuing bodies. Digital records. Amy Temenak
Foster & Freeman USA
888.445.5048 or 703.433.9361
amy.temenak@
fosterfreeman.com
Keesing Reference Database of Security Documents Counterfeits Keesing Reference Systems (commercial, Netherlands) Database shows the security features of passports, ID cards, and driver's licenses from 180 countries. Information includes both images and data. Information on security features of over 1,100 security documents provided in the form of descriptions and full color images of over 10,000 pages of security documents. Foster + Freeman is a US vendor who sells this database as a stand-alone product or packaged with its VSC document examination systems. The database can be downloaded online or off a disc. The product contains two parts: the archive version, and a subscription that provides updates every two months. Data is from security documents from issuing bodies. Digital records. Amy Temenak
Foster & Freeman USA
888.445.5048 or 703.433.9361
amy.temenak@
fosterfreeman.com
Questioned Document Article Databse (QDAD)   American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (ASQDE) Originally put together by the FBI, who gave control over it through MOE to ASQDE. An indexable/searchable repository of article related to forensic document examination. Started in 1996. Articles, abstracts, and journals related to forensic document examination available in PDF form. QDAD has approximately 10,000 entries. Online repository supported through askSam. No cost; access is available to ASQDE members and invited guests of reputable forensic document organizations. Contributed by members and experts in the field. Digital records are available for all samples; some of the originals still exist. Linton Mohammed
American Society of
Questioned Document Examiners
President
415.672.3514
lamqde@gmail.com
Questioned Identification Document Database (QID) Counterfeits US Secret Service, Forensic Services Division QID permits real time comparison of suspect documents with images of genuine and other known counterfeit documents. QID also provides, comprehensive information on specific features used to determine the authenticity of suspect documents. The system also uses software to perform link analysis searches. Authentic and known counterfeit identification documents used for comparison purposes. Also contains information on specific features to determine document authenticity and how to tell if questioned document is forged. QID also connects other federal and Interpol identification document databases. The Secret Service has access to the physical and digital samples. External users have to come in and view samples on site by special request. No cost to access; access is limited to US Secret Service directorates, students through coordinated research initiatives, and law enforcement entities. Contributed by issuing bodies, sample procurement is handled by separate department within the Secret Service. Digital records and physical samples. Deborah Leben
US Secret Service,
Forensic Services Division - Director
202.406.5269
Deborah.Leben@
usss.dhs.gov
Text Attribution Tool Text Attributes Appen Pty, Ltd (Australia, commercial) The Text Attribution Tool compares text with stored database to figure out certain information about the writer. System can compare vocabulary, spelling, writing style, linguistics, and other factors to give a prediction of the author's demographic traits. Can also compare a message to those stored in the database to analyze whether the same author wrote both documents. Gives statistical probabilities on results to make them defensible in court. The Text Attribution Tool is an automated system that analyzes a document from an unknown source using demographic and psychometric analysis, and advanced profiling techniques.  The Tool returns predicted characteristics of the author, along with levels of confidence.  It also compares the document in question against the profiles generated from previously-entered documents and returns matches that display similar authorship. Contact the POC. The Text Attribution Tool is available on CD or for download; it currently runs as a Linux hosted service and can take advantage of parallel architecture. There are currently no restrictions; cost is dependent on applications and tied to specific user requirements. There is an API through which digital documents can be passed for analysis. Documents such as handwritten letters must be digitized, by re-typing or OCR, before passing to the system. The tool utilized digital records. Each user may have different policies as to what becomes of physical samples. Tom Dibert
tdibert@appenbutlerhill.com
The Haas Typewriter Atlas & Catalog Typewriter American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (ASQDE) A DVD product; images of typewriter strikeups, used to attempt to determine the make and model of an unknown specimen. The DVD opens up PDFs containing: an introduction, the TYPE computer based typewriter classification program and various papers by Dr. Philip Bouffard, and the Haas Atlas and Catalog. The DVD contains the Haas Typewriter Atlas and the Haas Catalog. The Atlas contains images of type font specimens organized by Pica and non-Pica (e.g. courier, elite, script, etc.). The Catalog is organized by typewriter name and include type font manufacturer information, original manufacture information, serial numbers, etc. The Haas Atlas on Digital Media is the property of the ASQDE and is sold on DVD media. Interested individuals may contact the ASQDE Executive Assistant. $575 – ASQDE member; $675 – ASQDE member’s agency; $775 – non-member individual; $875 – non-member agency As typewriters are largely a thing of the past, and are not even manufactured to any extent, the opportunity or need for strike-ups is rendered unnecessary. If specimens from Typewriters not found in the Atlas are located, they may be sent to Peter Tytell, at typeter@aol.com. Digital records. Bernhard Haas of Germany maintains the original strike-ups found in the Atlas. Nanette Davis
American Society of Questioned Document Examiners
Executive Assistant
asqjournal@gmail.com
US Secret Service Printer Sample Database Printers US Secret Service, Forensic Services Division Used to identify the brand of printer used from the analysis of physical and chemical characteristics from a questioned document. Used as a tool for investigations involving anonymous letters, counterfeit IDs, and various types of documents. Largest known collection of printer specimens in the world. Other agencies submit requests to the Secret Service. Secret Service examiners will perform the analysis and send results back. No cost to access; access is limited to US Secret Service directorates, students through coordinated research initiatives, and law enforcement entities.     Deborah Leben
US Secret Service,
Forensic Services Division - Director
202.406.5269
Deborah.Leben@usss.dhs.gov

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