News & Events
Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) 1957-1994

The Penn Libraries have purchased the complete digitized collection of Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS), 1957-1994, now available online from Readex.

JPRS was created in the U.S. Commerce Department's Office of Technical Services in March 1957 to provide government agencies with translations of unclassified foreign documents and publications worldwide. Scientific and technical topics were JPRS's main focus, with coverage expanding over time to include military affairs, environment, politics and policy, economics and social conditions, health issues, crime and narcotics trafficking, and nuclear proliferation. Translated materials include::

  • periodical and newspaper articles
  • scholarly journals
  • statistical compilations, including trade and commercial statistics reports
  • defense-related and other special reports
  • monographs on many subjects
  • ephemeral materials, including diaries
  • science and technical publications, including conference proceedings
  • reference materials, including dictionaries, word lists, bibliographies, and biographies
  • government administrative works, including national budgets, laws and treaties
The collection complements Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports, 1941-1956, the U.S. government-produced worldwide news transcription and translation collection also available online to Penn readers from Readex.

When digitization is completed in 2014-2015, JPRS will provide more than 130,000 reports, with 4 million pages. As of mid-November 2012, 26% of the collection has been made available, with monthly updates averaging approximately 1,200 reports containing 47,700 articles and 105,700 pages. The Readex edition of JPRS may be searched using bibliographic information, including report and article title and author, JPRS number and SuDoc number, and using fulltext words or phrases. The Readex interface offers filtering by country or region, report and article types, and JPRS Series.

The online JPRS offers a great improvement over the Penn Libraries' historic microprint and federal depository library microfiche organized in hideously complicated subseries and accessed through annual and cumulative print indexes.

For more information:
Lauris Olson, Social Sciences Bibliographer