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Learn what makes these products unique
  • Digital archive of the United States’ principal record of historical open source intelligence (OSINT)information gathered from public sources to produce actionable intelligence for use by government and policy officials
  • Unmatched real-time coverage of critical world events—from WWII to the end of the 20th century—provides unique research value
  • Rare insight into geopolitics, global relations, political science and history

The digital archive of FBIS Daily Reports, 1941-1996, is an important foundational record of world history with first-hand, real-time coverage of 20th-century people, places, and global events. It is an essential acquisition for academic libraries that support researchers in a wide variety of disciplines, including history, political science, government, economics, social and cultural studies, and international studies.

FBIS: Origins and Scope

The Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) was created by Presidential directive in 1941 and was part of the Central Intelligence Agency. Its original mission was to monitor, record, transcribe, and translate intercepted radio broadcasts from foreign governments, official news services, and clandestine broadcasts from occupied territories.

Radio broadcasts are ephemeral materials that only endure when a transcript is made and then published. The monitoring and transcribing of foreign broadcasts make the FBIS Daily Reports uniquely powerful, allowing users to better understand the context of the past through robust and varied content—more than five million individual items that exist nowhere else.

Translated into English from more than 50 languages - from Amharic to Urdu – the reports include breaking news, live interviews, political speeches, editorial commentary, international propaganda, and other materials.

The research value of OSINT

From its inception, FBIS played a critical role in the gathering, transcribing, and translating of OSINT. The Daily Reports enabled U.S. government and policy officials to shape and rationalize policy decisions, facilitate communication with foreign officials without compromising intelligence sources (governments often communicated directly with each other via radio broadcasts), and assess global threats more quickly and accurately. The Readex digital archive of FBIS Daily Reports provides scholars with intuitive access to this historical 20th century record—from 1941 to 1996. Tools such as Readex Text Explorer, enriched metadata for every document, a series of innovative navigation tools, and a personal folder for every user are included to facilitate valuable discoveries.

High usage underscores research value of this complete online collection

FBIS Daily Reports, 1941 to 1996, is one of the most used collections from Readex. Available in a single, complete online collection or individual segments to meet researcher needs, this definitive digital archive features full-text transcripts from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, China, Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the Soviet Union/Russia.

  1. FBIS Daily Reports, 1941-1974 covers topics related to WWII and the Axis alliance, the new Islamic countries of the Middle East, colonialism in Africa, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and more
  2. FBIS Daily Reports, 1974-1996 provides reports on topics such as the Persian Gulf War, student takeover of Tiananmen Square, Egypt and Israel peace agreement, demise of the Soviet Union, and much more
  3. FBIS Daily Report Annexes – Furnishes an additional 7,000 “For Official Use Only” reports
Collections in this product family
Title List
Reviews & Accolades
Notable Titles
Chronological Segments
Series List
Advisory Board

Foreign Broadcast Information Service Advisory Board

Jerry Breeze
Government Information Librarian
Columbia University

Betty Febo
Government Documents Coordinator
Wellesley College

Isabel D. Holowaty 
History Librarian
University of Oxford

Kelly Janousek 
Librarian for Law/Political Science/Public Policy
California State University, Long Beach

Sue Kendall
Reference Librarian/ Government Publications Coordinator
San Jose State University

Julie A. Linden
Government Information Librarian
Yale University

Mary Mallory
Head, Government Documents Library
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Chris Palazzolo 
Political Science and International Documents Librarian
Emory University

Glenda Pearson
Head, Microform & Newspapers Collections
University of Washington

Michael Poulin 
Digital Resources Librarian
Colgate University

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