Transferring physical (historic) imagery to DIMOC
PAOs, photographers, videographers, broadcasters, Visual Information and Records Managers and Historians:
Does your organization have non-current or historic physical imagery? Is your unit relocating or shutting down? Do you just need more file cabinet or server space?
DO NOT throw out your imagery!! -- Send your VI to DIMOC! We take all formats of physical imagery: Films, negatives, prints, slides, tapes, discs, you name it. We need your help to preserve our nation’s historical VI legacy and make it available to future generations of Americans. Not only are you preserving DoD history, it’s required by Federal law and DoD policy.
DIMOC will preserve and digitize your physical and digital assets for inclusion in the DoD Imagery Archives and for eventual transfer to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
Our archivists will guide you through the process of shipping media to the DoD VI Records Center in Riverside, Calif. Just as you are required to submit your current, born-digital imagery, there is also a requirement to submit physical and/or analog materials to DIMOC.
Please read the FAQs below, identify your organization’s physical media for shipment to DIMOC, and answer VI Assessment questions 1-11 in an email to DIMOC-Archivists@mail.mil. A DIMOC archivist will contact you to issue instructions.
- Provide a point of contact (name), phone, email, address and the unit/office/organization in possession of the imagery.
- What is the volume or quantity of your media? Please estimate by format type.
- Please provide a list of all formats, to include any digital formats as well.
- If any content is not for public release, or is unmarked, can your organization/office provide release authority?
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a legal requirement to preserve historical imagery
- Yes, per 36 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) & 44 U.S. Code, as well as DoD Instruction 5040.02 and the National Archives Visual Information Records Schedule DAA-0330-2013-0014
Can I just scan the imagery on my own and send it electronically?
- No. DIMOC maintains a centralized, state-of-the-art program to professionally scan, track, preserve and archive each piece of visual information, as well as manage any associated metadata. This program is designed to take the burden off the DoD commands, organizations, units and personnel. There is no need to scan imagery yourself or send it through DVIDS, email or other electronic means. Do not create VIRINs for physical imagery if one does not exist. DIMOC will assign identification numbers to the digitized images. Contact DIMOC if you have questions.
Can I send our physical and/or analog assets directly to NARA?
- No. The records are DoD property, and are subject to the DoD archival process before they are offered to NARA. DIMOC is the official VI record center and throughput for DoD imagery to NARA.
Can I send our physical and/or analog assets directly to DIMOC without prior coordination?
- No. The DIMOC archivists must coordinate all incoming imagery with submitting organizations for the purposes of scheduling and providing specific shipping guidance. Shipments received without prior coordination are subject to being returned to the sender.
Do you take FOUO or classified imagery?
- Yes. However, do not send classified material until you receive and follow DIMOC’s specific handling instructions for the FOUO/classified material.
We have born-digital imagery, but more than we can send electronically. How can we get those images to DIMOC?
- Contact DIMOC to coordinate the use of external hard drives containing sufficient storage for your digital files and associated metadata. Follow their instructions and coordinate to send the drives back to DIMOC.
I have images with no supporting information (captions and metadata). Should I still include them?
- Please contact the DIMOC archivists for more information about how to handle this type of unprocessed-metadata content.
What if my command has directed the imagery be disposed of (e.g., thrown away, deleted)?
- Such imagery, regardless of age or condition, is a federal record that must not be thrown away, per federal regulations and the VI Records Schedule described above. Please inform your command of these requirements, and contact DIMOC archivists for assistance. DIMOC will be happy to speak with your command to alleviate the burden.
Can I send imagery not owned or produced by the Department of Defense or U.S. Government?
- No. This program is for DoD content produced/created by its military, civilians and contractors. Certain types of copyrighted content are eligible; contact the DIMOC Archivists for details.
We have old content that includes video tapes, 3.5" and 5 1/4" disks, zip disks and CDs/DVDs sitting in a safe in our building collecting dust. This content might be of a historical nature. Additionally we also have a roll of undeveloped 35mm film marked “secret “as well. Does DIMOC want this physical media?
- Contact DIMOC and answer the VI Assessment questions 1 - 11 above. DIMOC can take ANY format, whether still or motion, and convert it to a digital format, providing web-based access. DIMOC will provide specific handling instructions for classified material.
I am a retired military photojournalist and I have a collection of negatives, prints and stories that are official imagery. Can I submit them to be digitized and have the physical media returned to me? What if a person wants to leave their photo “archive” to the larger DoD archive, how do I do so?
- Yes, please contact the DIMOC archivists to discuss the unique nature of your request.
Will I get my original media back?
- In almost all cases, no. The original media, which belongs to the DoD, will be preserved in a climate-controlled facility. We can provide you digital access via the web and in some cases, DVD copies with the content. Please include this in your request when you contact us.
Where does the imagery go? Can I see it once it is digitized?
- The physical media will be sent to the DoD VI Records Center in Riverside, California, where it will be stored in a climate-controlled facility. While there, the content will be accounted for using unique barcodes assigned to each physical item. The materials will be processed for metadata (e.g. caption information, etc.), and entered into the queue for digitization. The digitized media will be made available to you via a web-based platform.
How long will the process take?
- It varies, depending on the amount and type(s) of physical media. Items requiring more preservation will take longer to make available to the public. The DIMOC Archivists can provide specific information related to your collection.
Where do I send the media? Will I get a receipt?
- DIMOC will provide shipping instructions. Yes, we provide tracking information, and an email receipt is sent upon arrival.
Will DIMOC pay for shipping?
- In most cases, no. DIMOC will work with contributing organizations to ship the media on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further discussion.
I’ve gathered my physical media and I’m ready to get started. What do I do now?
- Please answer VI Assessment questions 1-11 above and email the information to the DIMOC archivists, who will be in touch with you soon. The archivists will determine specific instructions tailored to your situation.