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Press Release
November 2, 2015

National Archives Announces Digitization Partnership with the National Collection of Aerial Photography

Washington, DC…The National Archives today announced its partnership with the National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP) to digitize historic World War II aerial photography. For the first time, these historically valuable images will be made accessible online to anyone, anywhere.

This partnership marks the first digitization of the National Archivesí aerial film holdings. Under the partnership, NCAP will digitize more than 150,000 canisters of aerial film from the National Archivesí records of the Defense Intelligence Agency. These aerial photographs were taken by the U.S. Navy and Air Force for military reconnaissance and mapping projects.

More than 40,000 canisters of World War II aerial film will be the focus of digitization under the first stage of the five year pilot project. Once digitized, the public will be able to access these materials free of charge from National Archives research facilities nationwide. The National Archives will receive a copy of the digital images and metadata for inclusion in its online catalog.

The National Archives works with partners to digitize and make available National Archives holdings. These digitization partnerships provide increased access to historical government information through the increased availability of information technology products and services. See NARA's Principles for Partnerships for more information. A list of current partnerships is online.

The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), based in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, holds one of the largest collections of aerial imagery in the world, estimated at more than 25 million aerial photographs. NCAP collects such records, in both digital and physical formats, to preserve them for generations to come, and to make them widely accessible. NCAPís online digitized collection, valued by historians and researchers, is also used to help locate unexploded bombs from World War II and to identify contaminated land where development is being planned throughout Europe.

The U.S. National Archives is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and online.

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For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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