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NIST Special Database 19 is temporary unavailable.

NIST Special Database 19

NIST Handprinted Forms and Characters Database

Special Database 19 contains NIST's entire corpus of training materials for handprinted document and character recognition. It publishes Handprinted Sample Forms from 3600 writers, 810,000 character images isolated from their forms, ground truth classifications for those images, reference forms for further data collection, and software utilities for image management and handling. It supersedes NIST Special Databases 3 and 7.

The features of this database are:

  • Final accumulation of NIST's handprinted sample data
  • Full page HSF forms from 3600 writers
  • Separate digit, upper and lower case, and free text fields
  • Over 800,000 images with hand checked classifications
  • Binary images scanned at 11.8 dots per mm (300dpi)
  • Updated CCITT IV Compression Source Code
  • Database management utilities.

The database is NIST's largest and probably final release of images intended for handprint document processing and OCR research. The full page images are the default input to the NIST FORM-BASED HANDPRINT RECOGNITION SYSTEM, a public domain release of end-to-end recognition software.

The images of Special Database 19 form a superset of the images of two previous releases: NIST Special Databases 3 and 7, which are now discontinued.

Please click here to view the PDF version of Users' Guide.

System requirements: CD-ROM drive with software to read ISO-9660 format.

For more information please contact:

Standard Reference Data Program
National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Dr., Stop 8500
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8500
(301) 975-2200 (VOICE) / (301) 975-4553 (FAX) Contact Us


The scientific contact for this database is:

Patrick J. Grother
National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8940
Building 225, Room A216
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8940 (301) 975-4157 patrick.grother@nist.gov

Keywords: Automated character recognition; automated data capture; character recognition; forms recognition; handwriting recognition; OCR; optical character recognition; software recognition.