6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 2, 2017 11:39 AM by Bill Streifer

    How do I obtain CIA photos?

    Bill Streifer Adventurer

      Suppose (I did!) find a series of fantastic CIA photos of the Soviet Navy from the 1960's. Unfortunately, when they were declassified, the CIA released low-resolution b/w versions. 1. How can I obtain high-resolution (color) copies?  2) How do I determine if NARA obtained copies?

       

      Soviet sub (tiny).jpg

        • Re: How do I obtain CIA photos?
          Research Services at the National Archives Scout

          Dear Mr. Streifer,

          Thank you for your inquiry to History Hub!  NARA does house several collections of photos from the CIA within RG 263 (Records of the Central Intelligence Agency).  To determine if the photograph in which you are interested is part of these collections, please contact the Still Pictures Branch at Archives II in College Park, MD at stillpix@nara.gov.  A sampling of the photographic records in our possession is available on our catalog here.

          The majority of original photographs taken remain in the possession of the Central Intelligence Agency.  The original, highest-resolution images (in the context of the technological limitations of the Cold War period) will also likely reside with them.  Their records are available to be searched online and their website also features a method by which to submit FOIA requests for any records you might find there as well.  Searches for these records can be conducted here.


          Thanks again for your request to History Hub and the best of luck on your search!

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            • Re: How do I obtain CIA photos?
              Bill Streifer Adventurer

              OK, now to the nitty-gritty.

               

              I've already located these CIA photos of Soviet submarines. They were part of a declassified CIA document (FOIA), so I have the CIA FOIA number.

               

              Unfortunately, when the CIA creates a pdf after declassification, the document and photos are scanned at low-resolution. Where are the original photos?

               

              I also know that copies of this report was sent to a number of other agencies, including the Navy. When the CIA sent copies to the Navy, did they send copies of the photos produced in a photo lab or low-rez photocopies.In the intelligence business, low-rez photos are useless.

               

              I also know that the Navy send a lot to NARA. Would NARA have copies of these photos? Can a search be done by CIA FOIA number?

                • Re: How do I obtain CIA photos?
                  Research Services at the National Archives Scout

                  Dear Mr. Streifer,

                   

                  The most likely location for the original photographs is with the CIA since they made the scan for you. The FOIA number is particular to the CIA’s system and would not be used to track the image outside of the CIA, but you can contact them to ask for more information about the photographs using their FOIA number.

                   

                  NARA has no way of knowing which other agencies the CIA may or may not have sent an individual report or images to, and we also cannot know the quality of images sent to the Navy. Since the images were part of a report, you may have more luck searching for the report as a whole rather than for the images alone. It is possible that the Navy may still have a copy of the report or that it was sent to NARA with some of their other records as part of a regular records retention schedule. We suggest that you can contact the Navy’s records management program to find out more.

                   

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