THE SOCIAL SCIENCE REFERENCE CENTER OF PRINCETON UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
GUIDES TO RESEARCH
TRANSLATION SERVICES:  FBIS, BBC AND BEYOND



FBIS 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.  These services provide access to and English language coverage for local and regional media from around the world.  Gaining the perspective of publications and broadcasts located in other countries and regions strengthens academic analysis, whether for historical, political, economic, or sociological research.  The details and effects of the local economy, results and conditions of elections, and a view outward, seeing the world from that place all are enabled by translation services such as those from FBIS and the BBC.  In addition, since these services date back to the late 1930s, local media from all over the world are available for historical research.  Indexes are rare before 1980, but for those years events which are dated from other sources can be studied in local media using publications from these services. 

This guide briefly outlines what is available, how it is indexed and how these services can be used in research at Princeton.  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. See the guides to research from Princeton's area bibliographers and for specific subject areas.

Electronic sources noted below are available through the Library Home Page on any computer on the Princeton University campus network or remotely, for Princeton faculty, students and staff, from anywhere in the world with access to the Internet, via the Library Proxy Server.  (For help with the Proxy Server, go to the Library Home Page, available under "Library" from the University Home Page at  www.princeton.edu, and on the Home Page use the "Search" button to look for "Proxy Server".)   Paper indexes are usually found in the reference section of the Social Science Reference Center (SSRC) on A Floor of Firestone Library; inquire at the desk for exact location. Publications in microfilm are found in the Microforms Library on C Floor of Firestone Library

BBC Monitoring Service Summary of World Broadcasts

  • BBC Monitoring Service.  Summary of World Broadcasts.  Printed reports.  Location: Microforms Library (Film) S00118, S00119, 1780.211, 14101.211; 14102.211, also ending .1, .3, .35, and .4.  Holdings 1939 until mid- 50s, 70s, 80s, depending on series.  No index.
  • BBC Worldwide Monitoring
    • Available through Lexis Academic Universe service: From January 1, 1979 through current.                   Location:  News / World News / Guided / "BBC" in Search this Publication Title box.
    • Also Available through Dow Jones Interactive service : From November 4, 1997 through current.          Truncation $  ; Adjacent : same -  In same paragraph; w/3 within 3 words
    • No paper equivalent of present product.
    Publisher  The British Broadcasting Corporation - Monitoring Service
    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.

    FBIS:  The Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports

    The Foreign Broadcast Information Service (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. Selected news stories from non-English sources, periodicals and government statements from around the world. The product named FBIS Daily Reports is commonly called just "FBIS" although  "Foreign Broadcast Information Service" continues to be the name of the continuing agency which produces the "World News Connection" product.  FBIS Daily Reports was issued in paper; it ceased in September 1996.

    FBIS Daily Report Locations:
  • FBIS Daily Reports (paper) 1946-1951 are located in AnnexA 14102.914 and .2, .3, .4 and .5
  • FBIS Daily Reports (microfilm), 1952-1996, are located in Princeton's Microforms Library.
  • FBIS Daily Report Indexes:
  • No indexes for 1952-1974; search by date of events known from other sources
  • FBIS Web indexes for 1975 - 1996; see the library home page.
  • Paper indexes for 1975-1991 are located in Annex.
  • Brief monthly indexes for 1975-1996 are filed at the before of each year's fiche.

  • JPRS:  The Joint Publications Research Service

    The Joint Publications Research Service (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.

      JPRS Locations:
    •  JPRS 1953-1979 are part of the U.S. Non-Depository Microcard Set
    •  JPRS 1979 - 1995 microfiche are located in the Microforms Library,

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

      JPRS Indexes:

    • JPRS 1958-1977 is indexed in the Monthly Catalog of Government Publications for 1958-1977, found in SSRC.  Use The Index to Readex Microprint  JPRS Reports, 1958-1976 (04065.92.73 SSRC) to find a correlation between Monthly Catalog  numbers and JPRS numbers.
    • JPRS 1970-1973 is indexed by paper Transdex: Bibliography, (SSRC  0911.911).
    • JPRS 1978-1995 has keyword access provided by fiche Transdex Index, 1978-1995 filed  with JPRS microfiche.

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    WNC:  The 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; all can limit by date:

    • Free Text   WNC analyzes the search, adds related term(s) and variations, and executes the search. Searcher can chose appropriate meanings and assign "weights" to terms. Can limit by date. use Boolean operators (and, or, not). Articles sorted by probable relevance.

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    • Region/Topic "Point and click" method of searching by eight geographic regions and seven topics.

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    • Structured  Traditional Boolean method of searching using "and - or - not".  System does not assign values to search terms.