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U.S. Government Documents: News Translation Services

Quick Links

(FBIS) Daily Reports, 1946 - 1996

World News Connection (FBIS - 1994+)

BBC Worldwide Monitoring - use Lexis-Nexis Academic (1979-current) or Factiva (1984-current)

Useful websites for major translation services

General Information

FBIS, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, and BBC Worldwide Monitoring are translation services that have been provided respectively by the U.S. government and BBC since 1946 for FBIS, and 1939 for the BBC. JPRS, the Joint Publications Research Service, was an auxiliary service of FBIS from 1953-1995 and provided English language translations of mostly scientific or technical journal articles. FBIS Daily Reports in paper and/or microfiche ended publication in 1996; World News Connection, which is FBIS full text on the web, began in 1994.

These services provide access to English language coverage for local and regional media from around the world dating back to the late 1930s.  Gaining the perspective of publications and broadcasts located in other countries and regions strengthens academic analysis, whether for historical, political, economic, or sociological research.

In addition to these worldwide services, there are numerous regional and subject translation services, such as those in Central Europe for Radio Free Europe and those covering Latin America. Consult a reference librarian for assistance with a particular region.


Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS)

FBIS is a translation service of the U.S. Government, usually attributed to the Central Intelligence Agency. It covers political, military, economic, environmental and sociological news and commentary, as well as scientific and technical information. FBIS Daily Reports are translations of daily broadcasts from eight reporting areas: China, East Asia, East Europe, Latin America, Near East and South Asia, Central Eurasia, Sub-Saharan Africa and West Europe. Although the FBIS print and  microfiche publications ceased in 1996, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service Agency (FBIS) continues to produce translations on the web beginning in 1994 and available through World News Connection

FBIS Daily Reports 1946-1996 (full text, searchable database)

Click here for detailed infomation about Princeton's print and microforms holdings

World News Connection

World News Connection

World News Connection (WNC) is FBIS on the web, described as being a "Foreign News Alert Service from the US Government" to "identify what really is happening in a specific country or region". Compiled from thousands of non-U.S. media sources, focusing especially on local media sources. Covers significant socioeconomic, political, scientific, technical, and environmental issues and events. Translations and English language versions from newspaper articles, conference proceedings, television and radio broadcasts, periodicals and non-classified technical reports. Regions include: Central Eurasia, East Asia, Near East & South Asia, China, East Europe, West Europe, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Coverage began July 1994; updated every U.S. Government work day, within 24-72 hours from the time of original publication or broadcast. No paper equivalent.

World News Connection provides three basic search methods:

  • Free Text WNC analyzes the search, adds related term(s) and variations, and executes the search. Searcher can choose appropriate meanings and assign "weights" to terms. Can limit by date and use Boolean operators (and, or, not). Articles sorted by probable relevance.
  • Region/Topic "Point and click" method of searching by eight geographic regions and seven topics. Can limit by date.
  • Structured Traditional Boolean method of searching using "and - or - not". System does not assign values to search terms. Can limit by date.

BBC World Monitoring

British Broadcasting Corportation/BBC Monitoring

BBC Monitoring is a daily news service covering more than 140 countries in more than 100 languages providing immediate coverage of political and economic news. Receives news bulletins 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, monitors them live and translates them into English. BBC Monitoring supplies news, information and comment gathered from the mass media around the world. Operates around the clock to monitor more than 2,000 radio, TV, press, Internet and news agency sources. The Monitoring Service, with a staff of more than 400, systematically listens in on the world. In monitoring, the BBC emphasizes information from countries for which other news sources are not readily available. It does not cover the United States, Canada or the U.K. Updates every 15 minutes.

BBC Monitoring: International Reports

Available through Lexis-Nexis Academic (January 1979-current)
Tips for searching Lexis: On side of main page select "Sources" tab,
choose "Find sources", use "BBC" as your search term.
Also available through Factiva (May 1984-current)
Click here for detailed information on Princeton's microform holdings.


Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS)

JPRS, operating within the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, was a similar translation service for information from newspaper, journals, and speeches covering topics including agriculture, business, science and technology. Some individual series focused on political analysis or scientific and technical developments. In 1995, JPRS translations were merged with FBIS Daily Reports.

Some JPRS reports may be available through the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC®) Technical Reports Collection. The database contains citations to and selected full-text of JPRS reports from 1974 to the present.

JPRS Microfiche and Microcards:

1953-1979 are part of the U.S. Non-Depository Microcard Set, arranged by Monthly Catalog number, and located in Documents Off-Site Storage. For assistance, consult a reference librarian.

1979 - 1995 microfiche are located in Recap.

  •    1979-1983 are filed by a Transdex number, i.e. 783968.
  •    1984-1995, are filed by an alpha-numeric number, i.e. ATC-91-002

JPRS Indexes:

1958-1977 indexed in the Monthly Catalog of US Government Publications.  
   Use the Index to Readex Microprint JPRS Reports, 1958-1976 - (FILMB) AS36.U5612 - to find a correlation between Monthly Catalog numbers and JPRS numbers.

1970-1973 is indexed by the print title: Transdex: Bibliography, (FILMB) AS36.T735

1978-1995 has keyword access provided by fiche Transdex Index (annual cumulations filed with JPRS microfiche).

Also see the Main Catalog for geographic- or subject-specific indices.

Depository Access Policy

The general public is welcome to use depository materials free of charge. For access information and hours, please consult the the online hours (choose "Firestone Library - Depository Access" from the drop down menu), Access Information Page, and the Firestone Access Office

PLEASE NOTE:  While the general public is welcome to use depository materials free of charge, many of our U.S. Government resources, including many of the resources listed in this research guide, are not depository materials and may only be used by Princeton University students, faculty, and staff.  This includes most of the electronic resources such as Proquest Congressional and Hein Online.

Princeton University Library adheres to the Federal Depository Library policies set by the Goverment Printing Office.