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NIST Special Database 300

Uncompressed Plain and Rolled Images from Fingerprint Cards 

NIST working with the FBI, has digitized 888 inked fingerprint arrest cards that were in various physical conditions, from pristine to badly damaged and faded, and were collected during law enforcement professional’s duties. The database contains images of the 10 rolled fingerprint impressions, the two four-finger slap impressions (finger positions 13 and 14), the two thumb slap impressions (finger positions 11 and 12) and the segmented impressions from the slap images (13,14). The database also includes the coordinates that were used to segment the impressions from the slap fingerprint images.

All cards were digitized using an Epson Perfection 4990 or an Epson V700. Due to the fragility of the cards, automated document feeders were not used. After positioning the card in a representative corner of the scanbed,  NIST-developed scanner software was used to automate scanning. The cards were scanned at three different resolutions: 500, 1,000, and 2,000 pixels per inch (PPI). All three resolutions were scanned in grayscale at a depth of 8 bits-per pixel.

Several captured fingerprints did not fit completely within the bounding box slices defined on the ink card scans. Because this is typically not corrected when digitizing inked cards in bulk due to feasibility, it was also not corrected in SD 300, as the dataset was designed to be representative of operational law-enforcement datasets. In many cases, a large percentage of the ridge structure is present and is still enough with which to extract features.

Some adjustments to images were made when non-fingerprint information was visible in the sliced images. In the event this information, such as arrest circumstances or signatures, was visible, the image was cropped or omitted from SD 300.

For image slices depicting simultaneous finger captures (finger positions 13 and 14), The nfseg fingerprint segmenter, distributed with NIST Biometric Image Software (NBIS), was used to segment the slap images (finger positions 13 and 14) and create rectangular polygons around the 1–4 individual fingers present in the slice. These coordinates were used to segment the simultaneous captures into individual images. The coordinates are provided as part of SD 300. All subjects whose biometrics appeared on these arrest cards were confirmed to be deceased by the FBI. 

Here is the User's Guide for SD 300


Please visit our dataset request website to download the data. 

  • SD300a is the dataset in 500ppi with PNG formatting.  [6.4GB]

More Information

A fingerprint data mailing list will be used to announce new fingerprint special databases, changes to existing databases or release of existing databases in different formatting and resolutions.

This dataset has been reviewed and approved by the NIST Human Subjects Protection Office.



Fiumara G, Flanagan P, Grantham J, Bandini B, Ko K, Libert J, NIST Special Database 300 Uncompressed Plain and Rolled Images from Fingerprint Cards, National Institute of Standards and Technology, (Accessed 2019-12-17)

User's Guide:

Fiumara G, Flanagan P, Grantham J, Bandini B, Ko K, Libert J, NIST Special Database 300 Uncompressed Plain and Rolled Images from Fingerprint Cards. NIST Technical Note 1993. 


@techreport{sd300,     Author = {Gregory Fiumara and Patricia Flanagan and John Grantham and Bruce Bandini and Kenneth Ko and John Libert},     DOI = {10.6028/NIST.TN.1993},     Institution = {National Institute of Standards and Technology},     Month = jun,     Number = {1993},     Title = {National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Database 300:Uncompressed Plain and Rolled Images from Fingerprint Cards},     Type = {Technical Note},     Year = {2018} }

Associated Links

Biometric Special Data and Software
ANSI/NIST-ITL standard 




Created May 4, 2018, Updated December 18, 2019