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This content is taken from the University of Strathclyde's online course, Introduction to Forensic Science. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds You don’t need to have access to live scan or ink in a Ten print sheet in order to take your fingerprints at home. You can do this easily enough with some paper, a pencil, and clear tape. First step is to rub the side of a pencil on a piece of paper. Next, rub your finger on the patch where you’ve rubbed the pencil.

Skip to 0 minutes and 34 seconds Now get a piece of tape– clear, preferably– and put your finger on the tape. Next, pull the tape off gently and stick the tape to a piece of white paper.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 seconds Do this with all remaining fingers and try to identify the overall fingerprint pattern or Level 1 Detail. In the images provided, the index finger has a whorl pattern.

Taking your own fingerprints

It’s very easy to take your own fingerprints and you can follow these instructions if you would like to try for yourself.

After you take your own fingerprints go back and re-look at the video about fingermark identification. You can use the information in the video to identify the features in your own fingerprints.

You can also look back at the free US fingerprint source book (which you may have used previously and is in the ‘see also’ resource section below) which also provides information about fingerprint classification methods in chapter 5.

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This video is from the free online course:

Introduction to Forensic Science

University of Strathclyde