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Government Documents - Intelligence Agencies: Foreign Broadcast Information Service

This guide provides an outline of the publications of intelligence agencies available in the Government Documents & Maps Department.

About the agency

The Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) began in 1941 as the Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service (later the Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service). It became part of the CIA in 1947. Its purpose was to provide translations of radio broadcasts in selected foreign countries. FBIS also encompassed the Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) which translated foreign language print media. In 1995, JPRS translations were merged with FBIS Daily Reports and became the Open Source Center (OSC) within the CIA in 2005. The CIA discontinued public access to OSC in 2013.

Electronic/internet resources

Our holdings

Broadcasting stations of the world, 1960The CIA has a small collection of JPRS reports in its Freedom of Information Act electronic reading room.

Government Documents holds a collection of FBIS and JPRS reports on microfiche and CD-ROM covering the 1970s through the 1990s. For reports dated 1974-1996, you may use the Transdex Index on microfiche (PREX 7.13x:). Because these publications are not user-friendly, we recommend that you contact a government documents librarian for assistance.

Some full-text FBIS and JPRS reports covering 1997-2004 are available on CD-ROM. Unfortunately, the Library does not have access to Readex's full-text FBIS databases covering historical reports or to World News Connection, the source for full-text reports covering 1995-2013. OpenSource provides access to translations of print and broadcast news in foreign countries, but it is only accessible to certain federal and state employees.

Some historical FBIS and JPRS reports are available in full text in Defense Technical Information Center and are fully searchable. The reports in this database are focused on military or science and technology topics.

JPRS reports were listed in the Monthly Catalog of U.S. government publications from 1958-1977. The full text of many early JPRS reports is available in Readex’s microcard collection, United States Government publications, non-depository, covering 1953-1980, where they are arranged by Monthly Catalog numbers, so you need to use another index or catalog in order to translate the JPRS report numbers into Monthly Catalog numbers.

Microfilm or printed copies of selected JPRS translations from the 1960s for the Soviet Union, China, and Asia may be found by searching the Voyager online catalog. 

Additional finding aids

Subject Guide

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Gwen Sinclair
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