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Reference Data

The forensic community uses NIST Standard Reference Databases to assist with accurate:

  • fingerprint matching;
  • genetic mapping and identity testing;
  • arson investigation; and
  • cybercrime investigation.

Some NIST data resources are freely available online while others are fee-for-purchase. Many are available through the NIST Data Gateway. In addition, NIST offers modeling software and other tools for forensic laboratories.




NIST SD 4 - 8-Bit Gray Scale Images of Fingerprint Image Groups (no longer available)

NIST SD 9 - NIST 8-Bit Gray Images of Mated Fingerprint Card Pairs Volumes (no longer available)

NIST SD 10 - Supplemental Fingerprint Card Data (no longer available)

NIST SD 14 - Mated Fingerprint Card Pairs (no longer available)

NIST SD 18 - NIST Mugshot Identification Database

NIST SD 27 - Fingerprint Minutiae from Latent and Matching Tenprint Images (no longer available)

NIST SD 29 - Plain and Rolled Images from Paired Fingerprint Cards (no longer available)

NIST SD 30 - Dual Resolution Images from Paired Fingerprint Cards (no longer available)

NIST SD 130 - Short Tandem Repeat Database (STRBase)

NIST SD 300 - Uncompressed Plain and Rolled Images from Fingerprint Cards

NIST SD 301 - Nail to Nail (N2N) Fingerprint Challenge Dry Run

NIST SD 302 - Nail to Nail (N2N) Fingerprint Challenge

Digital/Computer Forensics

NIST SD 28 - National Software Reference Library

Computer Forensics Tool Testing Project

Computer Forensic Reference Data Sets


NIST Chemistry WebBook

See a full list of NIST chemistry databases, software, and tools online at

Inventory of Forensic Databases and Reference Materials

In 2012, the Forensic Science Research Program, with sponsorship from the National Institute of Justice, conducted a survey of state and federal law enforcement agencies to develop a comprehensive list of databases, reference materials, and standard reference collections used by forensic scientists in laboratories at the state and local levels. The primary goal was to share information about existing data for forensic practitioners to share and use. The survey located 228 state, federal, and commercially run databases which are available to view here.


Created September 16, 2013, Updated October 3, 2022