Research Our Records

Ordering Still Picture Reproductions

There are more than 9.5 million images in the holdings of the Special Media Archives Services Division's Still Picture unit at College Park, MD.

How to Cite Records when Ordering Reproductions

To order copies of images, you will need to know:

  • Record group number
  • Series
  • Box, folder, and/or divider designator where relevant
  • Unique item number


Citation Explanation of Citation
165-WW-328H-1 (Record Group 165, Series WW, Box 328, Folder H, photograph 1)
86-P-9 (Record Group 86, Series P, poster 9)
207-N-6134-3-18A (Record Group 207, Series N, photograph assignment 6134, roll 3, frame 18A)

Please note:   If ordering images found in ARC, use the number found in the Variant Control Number field. Do NOT use the ARC ID Number to request reproductions.

Complete citations can be obtained through:

If you already have the correct citation, you may be able to place an order directly. See the section below on Placing Orders with Vendors

To Request Information about Records

Mail:   Still Picture Reference (NWCS-Stills Reference)
Room 5360
National Archives at College Park
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001

Telephone:   301-837-0561

FAX:   301-837-3621


(Please include a complete postal mailing address and a daytime phone number in your e-mail)

Search in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC)

Information and Images in ARC

Sample digital images found in the course of ARC searches are in the public domain and may be downloaded by the researcher without charge. The item-level identification citations accompanying these images can be used to order reproductions through the vendor system.

The same ARC search strategy can be used to locate, view, and find reproduction citations for the selected images used in the Still Picture staff-edited book, War and Conflict.


War and Conflict Number 289 111-RB-4033

Other Sources

"Select Lists" have been compiled by the Still Picture Staff for popular research topics.

In addition to the original record group-series-item identification, each image included in a "Select List" pamphlet has also been assigned a "Select List" internal number. Use these internal numbers to order reproductions through the vendor system.


"Select list" internal number Record group-series-item identification
Pictures of World War II Number 148 80-G-47471
Pictures of the American City Number 87 208-LO-14F-27

See "Published and Unpublished Finding Aids . . . " in Photographs and Graphic Works in the Still Picture unit, National Archives at College Park to obtain captions, digital images, and citations for ordering

  • "Select List" items

  • Records of the National Park Service, Ansel Adams Photographs

  • Images from the Still Picture unit relating to Nebraska and the settlement of the Western United States in the Gallery of the Open Frontier

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Hard-copy publications

Reproduction citations for selected images can also be found in a variety of hard-copy publications that, unlike the "Select List" pamphlets and the War and Conflict book, do not have the bulk of their visual entries represented in electronic form. Among the more expansive of these publications are:

  • The American image: photographs from the National Archives, 1860-1960 (Exhibitions staff, Office of Educational Programs, National Archives and Records Service. General Services Administration ; with an introd. by Alan Trachtenberg. New York : Pantheon Books, c1979)
  • s NARA exhibit catalogues such as A New Deal for the Arts.

To find additional NARA publications containing photographs consult the NARA Library Catalog or your local library. For further information about obtaining such publications, consult the NARA Publications Main Page.

Vendors used for Ordering

Order reproductions through vendors.

The National Archives and Records Administration has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with several private vendors to supply conventional photographic as well as digital reproductions from our holdings. A package containing the list of available vendors, with their price sheets and reproduction options, is available

To order, follow these steps

  1. Obtain item-level citations.
  2. Choose from among the available vendors.
  3. Place the order with the vendor.

    Include all media and format specifications

  4. Deal directly with that vendor through all subsequent phases of payment, production, and delivery.

Researchers are responsible for ascertaining and heeding copyright and other restrictions affecting items reproduced.

Media and Formats available

  • black-and-white
  • color
  • prints
  • negatives
  • slides
  • transparencies
  • digital products
  • from 35 mm. to 24" X 30"

Information About the Records

The bulk of the available descriptions are at the series level–rather than at the item level crucial for ordering copies.

A series described in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC), or in the published Guide to the Holdings of the Still Picture Branch, might contain several items or several hundred thousand items. Few series will ever be listed by individual item.

Even the more than 40,000 images digitized under NARA's Electronic Access Project, and viewable through ARC, represent only selections from the much larger universe of Still Picture holdings.

In most cases, researchers will need further information for ordering purposes.

How to obtain necessary item citations, and how to place orders through the vendor system, are explained above.

For ordering instructions concerning the more than 400,000 images held by the Nixon Library in College Park, consult the Nixon Library staff. Reproduction work involving any still pictures in Presidential Libraries or in Regional Archives is handled through the respective site holding the items to be copied.

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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