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NIST Special Database 4

NIST 8-Bit Gray Scale Images of Fingerprint Image Groups(FIGS)

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Click here to download. MD5 Hash File. 

The NIST database of fingerprint images contains 2000 8-bit gray scale fingerprint image pairs. Each image is 512-by-512 pixels with 32 rows of white space at the bottom and classified using one of the five following classes:

A=Arch, L=Left Loop, R=Right Loop, T=Tented Arch, W=Whorl.

The database is evenly distributed over each of the five classifications with 400 fingerprint pairs from each class.

The text file that accompanies each image gives the Gender, Class and History information extracted from the ANSI/NIST-ITL formatted (AN2) file.

NIST Special Database 4 has the following features:

  • 2000 8-bit gray scale fingerprint image pairs including classifications
  • 400 fingerprint pairs from each of the five classifications - Arch, Left and Right Loops, Tented Arch, Whirl)
  • each of the fingerprint pairs are two completely different rollings of the same fingerprint
  • 19.7 pixels per millimeter resolution
Suitable for automated fingerprint classification research, the database can be used for:
  • algorithm development
  • system training and testing.


The database is a valuable tool for evaluating fingerprint systems on a statistical sample of fingerprints which is evenly distributed over the five major classifications.

System Requirements: software to open zip file and extract database and software to view PNG formatted images.The size of the zip file 7895 MB with the extracted database being 807 MB. 

For more information on Special Database 4 please contact:

Standard Reference Data Program
National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Dr., Stop 8500
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8500
 (301) 975-2200(VOICE) / (301) 975-4553 (FAX) Contact Us 

The scientific contact for this database is:

Patricia Flanagan
Information Access Division
National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8940
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8940
(301) 975-4965 flanagan@nist.gov

Keywords: Arch, classification, fingerprint, grayscale, left loop, matching, NIST, pairs, right loop, software recognition, tented arch, whorl.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18434/T4RP4K