May 21, 2022

U.S.: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Announces Five Year Pilot Project to Digitize Historic World War II Aerial Photography

From the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA):

The National Archives today announced its partnership with the National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP) to digitize historic World War II aerial photography.

[Our emphasis] For the first time, these historically valuable images will be made accessible online to anyone, anywhere.

This partnership marks the first digitization of the National Archives’ aerial film holdings. Under the partnership, NCAP will digitize more than 150,000 canisters of aerial film from the National Archives’ records of the Defense Intelligence Agency. These aerial photographs were taken by the U.S. Navy and Air Force for military reconnaissance and mapping projects.

More than 40,000 canisters of World War II aerial film will be the focus of digitization under the first stage of the five year pilot project.

Once digitized, the public will be able to access these materials free of charge from National Archives research facilities nationwide.

The National Archives will receive a copy of the digital images and metadata for inclusion in its online catalog.

The National Archives works with partners to digitize and make available National Archives holdings. These digitization partnerships provide increased access to historical government information through the increased availability of information technology products and services.

See NARA’s Principles for Partnerships for more information.

A list of current partnerships is online.

Learn More About the National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.