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Handwriting Database

CSAFE Handwriting Database

About the Study

The CSAFE Handwriting Database is an interactive, public database designed for the development of statistical approaches to forensic handwriting evaluations.

Each enrolled participant provided handwriting samples at three data collection sessions, each at least three weeks apart. At each session, participants completed a short survey and transcribed the contents of three prompts, each three times. This repository includes 27 scanned writing samples from each of 90 participants, making 2430 handwriting samples in total. In addition, survey data are available in table format including a few demographic variables and session specific information for each participant.

Prompt Details

The study used samples of the following texts:

  • The London Letter, a handwriting exemplar

“Our London business is good, but Vienna and Berlin are quiet. Mr. D. Lloyd has gone to Switzerland and I hope for good news. He will be there for a week at 1496 Zermott Street and then goes to Turin and Rome and will join Colonel Parry and arrive at Athens, Greece, November 27 or December 2. Letters there should be addressed King James Blvd. 3580. We expect Charles E. Fuller Tuesday. Dr. L. McQuaid and Robert Unger, Esq., left on the ’Y. X.’ Express tonight.”

  • An Excerpt from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum

“Within a short time she was walking briskly toward the Emerald City, her silver shoes tinkling merrily on the hard, yellow roadbed. The sun shone bright and the birds sang sweet and Dorothy did not feel nearly as bad as you might think a little girl would who had been suddenly whisked away from her own country and set down in the midst of a strange land.”

  • A common phrase

“The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”

File Formats

Interact with this database by downloading samples based on writer ID, session number or prompt type. The handwriting sample pages were scanned at 300dpi using an Epson DS-6500 document scanner and stored as images with the naming format of wAAAA sBB pCCC rD.png.

  • AAAA is a four digit writer identification number (WID) (between 0001 and 0180, not necessarily consecutive),
  • BB is a two digit session number (01, 02, or 03),
  • CCC is the three letter prompt shorthand (LND, WOZ, or PHR,)
  • DD is a number (01, 02, or 03), representing the repetition of a particular prompt in a given session.

Learn more in our Read Me guide.

Terms of Use and Citation Guidelines

CSAFE invites you to share or adapt this work to meet your needs. The Handwriting Database is available under license CC-BY 4.02, allowing others to distribute and build upon the data while providing credit for original creation.

When you use this dataset, please include the following citation:

Crawford, Amy; Ray, Anyesha; Carriquiry, Alicia; Kruse, James; Peterson, Marc (2019): CSAFE Handwriting Database. Iowa State University. Dataset.

Find a static version of the data on the ISU library repository, DataShare.