The American Association of Orthodontists Foundation (AAOF) Craniofacial Growth Legacy Collection Project—an effort to preserve irreplaceable samples of American and Canadian longitudinal craniofacial growth records dating back more than 75 years—recently announced that more than 400 cases have now been uploaded to the project’s Web site. Recent additions from the Wright State University Fels Longitudinal Study and the University of Oklahoma Denver Growth Study more than doubled the number of images previously available in the searchable online database.

The collection now includes 4,400 lateral cephalometric radiographs, 1,000 frontal cephalometric radiographs, and 500 hand-wrist radiographs. More than 6,000 images are available overall.

The Legacy Collection Project is in the process of digitizing films, study casts, and written records on subjects’ physical development from nine of the 11 known collections of longitudinal craniofacial growth records in the United States and Canada. The records are deteriorating due to the normal breakdown of radiographic images. Preserving the available records in digital form was deemed imperative because these irreplaceable growth records serve as the basis of most of the information in contemporary orthodontic literature on craniofacial growth in children who did not have orthodontic treatment. The subjects studied were measured annually, beginning as young as age 2, and continuing, in many cases, until subjects were in their mid-20s. These measurements produced an extensive longitudinal record of craniofacial development among children who did not receive orthodontic treatment.

The Legacy Collection Project materials are offered at no charge to orthodontic residents, researchers, and other interested parties. To date, more than 1,300 images have been delivered to researchers all over the world.

Images will continue to be added to the Legacy Collection Project’s database for the foreseeable future. The Web site’s functionality is being upgraded to facilitate improved searching and filtering, better performance for large collections, and improved display and interaction with 3D study casts.