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Fingerprint Sourcebook - Chapter 8: The Preservation of Friction Ridge Information

NCJ Number
Date Published
21 pages

This chapter describes the preservation of friction ridges through the use of photography and other methods.


The recording of friction ridge detail dates back to the early 1900s. The value of accurate preservation was realized early on with preservation methods improving as new technologies and techniques were introduced to the forensic community. Groundbreaking fingerprint detection and preservation techniques have been witnessed from the simple to the complex. Methods in the preservation of friction ridges within fingerprints include film and digital photography, latent print lifts, and the use of casting material. The use of photography in friction ridge detail on the lift or the cast is still important to generate additional secondary evidence. This chapter provides a brief overview of photography in the preservation of friction ridges followed by a description of other methods of friction ridge preservation: latent print lifts and casting material. Tables, figures, and references

Date Published: January 1, 2010