1 Reply Latest reply on Dec 15, 2021 9:12 AM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking access to DIA Aerial Photographs

    TED MIKITA Wayfarer

      Hi, I am aware that the NARA College Park, MD facility is open for research with prior appointment.  I am wondering about the accessibility of original DIA AERIAL NEGATIVES (WWII era), in RG 373, that I believe are stored offsite.  Can these still be requested and viewed on the Cartographic level of this facility?  What are the rules and restrictions about ordering these cannisters of aerial negatives for viewing?  Last time they had to be fedexed to the facility and it took 2 to 3 days for them to arrive and you were not allowed to order them unless you were physically at the facility, which is inconvenient to out of town visitors. Thank you.

        • Re: Seeking access to DIA Aerial Photographs
          Jason Atkinson Guide

          Dear Mr. Mikita,

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Aerial Photographs, 1935 - 1970 in the Records of the Defense Intelligence Agency (Record Group 373) that consists of original negatives (ON can numbers) located on 9" by 9" rolled acetate film. Due to the unstable nature of acetate film, it has to be stored in climate controlled rooms at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit at NARA’s facility in Lenexa, Kansas. Usually, researchers who are onsite in the Cartographic Research Room in College Park may request up to 10 specific cans of aerial film to be shipped to College Park per day. The turnaround time for these shipments is typically three business days before it can be made available for use in the Cartographic Research Room. A small amount of film has been duplicated (typically DN can numbers) onto a more stable polyester film base and is stored onsite for researchers to access at regular record pull times throughout the day.


          PLEASE NOTE that the records at the Lenexa Cold Storage are NOT currently available due to COVID-19 restrictions. We do not have an estimate of when shipments for public research requests may resume.


          Please see NARA’s Aerial Photography webpage for more information about researching aerial photography or you may email the National Archives at College Park - Cartographic (RDSC) at carto@nara.gov.


          Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDSC.  We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience as we balance mission-critical work and the safety of our staff during the pandemic. Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information.


          We hope this is helpful.

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