IAI Collection

The International Association for Identification (IAI) Collection


Browse The Collection


Founded in 1915, the International Association for Identification is the world's oldest and largest criminal identification organization. In 2005, the IAI selected the WVU Libraries to house its priceless research library due in part to WVU's pioneering program in the field of Forensic and Investigative Sciences education.

Consisting of more than 100 linear feet of material, including archives and manuscripts, books, periodicals, and a wide assortment of ephemeral publications, the IAI 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.

Read more about it, "Desperately Seeking Sherlock Holmes" from the West Virginia & Regional History Center Newsletter, Vol. 21: no. 1, Fall 2005, pages 1-3.

The Henry Faulds Scrapbooks

Among the earliest and most valuable items in the IAI collection are the scrapbooks of Dr. Henry Faulds (1843-1930). A towering figure in the history of forensic sciences, it was Faulds who first recognized the value of fingerprints to criminal identification. The Faulds scrapbooks include research notes, original drawings and studies of fingerprint patterns and typology, as well as correspondence with individuals and crime fighting organizations around the world, dating from the late 1870s until shortly before the doctor's death in 1930.

Illustrations from Select Publications

The following materials were chosen for their illustrative and/or historical value. Francis Galton dedicated his life to anthropology and genetics. He also became interested in fingerprints, and investigated for himself their uses, possible classification, and the role genetics played. In these volumes, Pearson has biographied Galton's life.

Vidocq has been said to be the first to create a private detective agency, and had a hand in the creation of the French Police. He authored many texts; the item below is his translated autobiography as pertaining to life as an investigator. The two titles (by Ferrier and Wooldridge) have interesting photographs and illustrations pertaining to criminology during its infancy.

The Life, Letters, and Labours of Francis Galton by Karl Pearson, Galton Professor, University of London Cambridge at the University Press:

Vidocq. Memoirs of Vidocq: The Principal Agent of the French Police. Written by Himself and Translated from the French, Expressly for this Edition. With illustrative engravings from original designs by Cruikshank. New Orleans: J.C. Morgan & Co., 1859.

Ferrier, J. Kenneth. Crooks & Crime. London: Seely, Service & Co. Limited, 1928.

Wooldridge, C.R. Hands Up! In the World of Crime. By C.R. Wooldridge. 12 Years a Detective on the Chicago Police Force. 17,000 Arrests, 125 Penitentiary Convictions, 75 Young Girls Rescued from Lives of Shame. Chicago: Thompson & Thomas, 1906.