Preparing Physical (legacy) VI

PAOs, photographers, videographers, Combat Camera personnel, records managers, historians and others who handle DoD Visual Information:

Does your organization have non-current or historic physical media? Is your unit relocating or shutting down? Are your service’s career fields merging? Do you just need more file cabinet or server space?

DO NOT throw out your unit's physical media! 

Send your physical media to DMA! We take all formats: 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. See the Frequently Asked Questions page for more.

DMA will preserve and digitize your physical and digital assets for inclusion in the DoD Digital Visual Information Archives (DVIA) and eventual transfer to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) as a permanent federal record.

Our archival staff 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 VI, there is also a requirement to submit physical and/or analog materials to DMA.

Please read the FAQs page, identify your organization’s physical media for shipment to DMA, and answer VI Assessment questions 1-12 below in an email to DMA Ft. Meade DVI List Archivists.  A member of the DMA archival staff will contact you to issue instructions. 

1. Provide a point of contact (name), phone, email, address and the unit/office/organization in possession of the physical media.

2. 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.

3. What is the content date range or era? (For example, “April 1972 – June 1980” or “World War II”)

4. What is the subject matter or topic(s) documented in the physical media? (A few keywords will suffice.)

5. Is any of the content classified? If so, how much? (If unknown, please state as such.)

6. How much of the content has been publicly released by an authorized public affairs official?

  • If any content is not for public release, or is unmarked, can your organization/office provide release authority?

7. How much metadata or caption/descriptive information is present? Do you have physical run sheets or caption information, and are you able to provide them with the media? Does digital VI have embedded metadata/caption information?

8. Do you have a catalog or database for management of your physical media? If so, can you readily provide this to DMA?

9. Does your organization/command require additional access to the content? We can provide access for DoD CAC holders via the Defense Visual Information Archive.

10.  How soon do you need to ship your content? (Please provide a month/date)

11.  Do you have funding available for shipping?

12.  Please provide any additional information about your organization or the content that we should know in advance.

Contact the Archivists 

7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time
Except federal holidays