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BEV BUTULA: International Association for Identification

I noticed that the Frontier Airlines Convention Center in Milwaukee was hosting the IAI Conference. I am always curious when I see the banners and signs welcoming associations – what do those initials stand for? So, I went back to my office and looked it up. The IAI is the International Association for Identification. Now I was even more interested! The IAI describes themselves as the “world’s oldest and largest forensic science/identification association.”

Checking out their website, I found several items of interest. The first section that caught my eye was the SWG Guidelines link. This page takes the researcher to various guidelines including digital evidence, shoeprint and tire tread evidence, and facial identification.

There is also a link to their research library. Following this link takes the user to West Virginia University Library which houses the collection. The collection “is the most comprehensive forensics information resource in existence. Included are materials dating back to late 19th century when the field of scientific criminal investigation was in its infancy.” In addition to the physical collection, the website offers a digital collection of “nearly 3000 digital images of items in the IAI Collection including drawings, letters, photographs, book illustrations and selected other documents.”

The digital collection has some fascinating documents. For example, a search for “fingerprint” produced a wide variety of materials including a 1942 pamphlet for a “fingerprint camera.”

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