Research Our Records

Still Picture Reproductions

There are more than 16 million images in the holdings of the Special Media Archives Services Division's Still Picture unit at College Park, MD.

    How to Cite Records when Inquiring About Specific Images

    To inquire about specific  images, you will need to know:

    • Record group number
    • Series
    • Box, folder, and/or divider designator where relevant
    • Unique item number


    Citation Explanation of Citation
    165-WW-328H-1 (Record Group 165, Series WW, Box 328, Folder H, photograph 1)
    86-P-9 (Record Group 86, Series P, poster 9)
    207-N-6134-3-18A (Record Group 207, Series N, photograph assignment 6134, roll 3, frame 18A)

    Please note:   If inquiring about images found in National Archives Catalog, use the number found in the Local Identifier field. When inquiring about specific images, researchers are encouraged to provide the Local Identifier in addition to the National Archives Identifier (NAID).

    Complete citations can be obtained through:

    If you already have the correct citation, you may be able to place an order directly through one of the Independent Researchers Available for Hire.

    To Request Information about Records

    Mail:   Still Picture Reference (RDSS-Stills Reference)
    Room 5360
    National Archives at College Park
    8601 Adelphi Road
    College Park, MD 20740-6001

    Telephone:   301-837-0561

    FAX:   301-837-3621


    (Please include a complete email address and a daytime phone number in your e-mail)

    Search in the National Archives Catalog

    Information and Images in the National Archives Catalog

    Sample digital images found in the course of catalog searches may be downloaded by the researcher free of charge. The item-level Local Identifier number and/or NAID number accompanying these images may be useful if ordering reproductions through researchers listed on the  Independent Researchers Available for Hire web page.

    Searching the National Archives Catalog for the relevant Local Identifier Numbers can be used to locate, view, and find reproduction citations for the selected images used in the Still Picture staff-edited book, War and Conflict.


    War and Conflict Number 289 111-RB-4033

    Other Sources

    "Select Lists" have been compiled by the Still Picture Staff for  popular research topics.

    In addition to the original record group-series-item identification, each  image included in a "Select List" pamphlet has also been assigned a "Select List" internal number.  Use these internal numbers if requesting reproductions from Independent Researchers Available for Hire.


    "Select list" internal number Record group-series-item identification
    Pictures of World War II Number 148 80-G-47471
    Pictures of the American City Number 87 208-LO-14F-27

    See  Photographs and Graphic Works in College Park, Maryland, to obtain captions, digital images, and citations for "Select List" items, as well as additional information about Still Picture holdings. 

    Hard-copy publications

    Reproduction citations for selected images can also be found in a variety of hard-copy publications that, unlike the "Select List" pamphlets and the War and Conflict book, do not have the bulk of their visual entries represented in electronic form. Among the more expansive of these publications are:

    • The American image: photographs from the National Archives, 1860-1960 (Exhibitions staff, Office of Educational Programs, National Archives and Records Service. General Services Administration ; with an introd. by Alan Trachtenberg. New York : Pantheon Books, c1979)
    • NARA exhibit catalogues such as A New Deal for the Arts.

    To find additional NARA publications containing photographs consult the NARA Library Catalog or your local library. For further information about obtaining such publications, consult the NARA Publications Main Page.

      Information About the Records

      The bulk of the available descriptions are at the series level–rather than at the item level crucial for requesting information about specific images.

      A series described in the National Archives Catalog, or in the published Guide to the Holdings of the Still Picture Branch, might contain several items or several hundred thousand items. Few series will ever be listed by individual item.

      Even the more than 80,000 images digitized under NARA's Electronic Access Project, and viewable through the National Archives Catalog, represent only selections from the much larger universe of Still Picture holdings.

      Reproduction work involving any still pictures in Presidential Libraries or in Regional Archives is handled through the respective site holding the items to be copied.