What FBI’s Filing System Looks Like During World War II

The following photos give us a fascinating look inside the FBI’s overflow filing system. Housed during World War II in the Washington, D.C. Armory, the FBI’s archive collected over 23 million cards and 10 million fingerprint records, with around 400,000 new cards added every month.

Take a closer look.

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GEORGE SKADDING/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

During this time, the federal government invested huge resources to investigate potential defectors and spies.

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GEORGE SKADDING/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

By the end of 1943, the FBI employed around 13,000 people.

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Wikimedia

Since 1924, the FBI has been the single U.S. repository for fingerprints.

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GEORGE SKADDING/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

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GEORGE SKADDING/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

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GEORGE SKADDING/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

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GEORGE SKADDING/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

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GEORGE SKADDING/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

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