The various levels of the U.S. government has kept and maintained records of the people since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In the earlier days of the Union, these records were limited to the census, immigration, court cases, some marriages, very few births and only a limited amount of deaths. Now you can easily perform a public records search online and have your information in minutes. It’s simple to search criminal records by case number. You can easily find criminal records by state, search criminal records by name, search criminal records by county by using a national criminal records database.
The census was first performed back in 1790 by the marshals who would continue to perform them until the establishment of the Census Bureau in 1902. These various public records such as criminal court records, police records and other vital public records information was kept in logs and have sat on shelves for the longest time. Some of them have been destroyed over the years while some still remain intact. If your wanting criminal records with pictures then the records will have to be recent and will usually come from a background check agencies. However you can access criminal records free to public and lookup criminals with access to public record resources.