Responsibility for the dissemination of scientific and technical information, linked with international agreements covering information and technology exchange, has been given by statute to several US federal agencies through various incarnations since the 1940s and 1950s. In the beginning, use of announcement journals of bibliographic information and abstracts was ‘state-of-the-art’ for disseminating this information. In the 1960s, computers began to be used for the first time to store, exchange and search for bibliographic information
Rapid and inexpensive dissemination of the full text documents was achieved by using microfilming technology. Microfiche remains the norm for full-text distribution and archiving to this day, but digitisation enabling electronic distribution is fast becoming established.
We hold the majority of reports distributed by the following agencies:
NTIS – National Technical Information Service – from the 1940s to the present day.
NTIS is the US federal government's central source for the sale of scientific, technical, engineering, and related business information produced by or for the US government. We hold most US reports identified by PB accession numbers. The non-US reports identified by PB accession numbers may also be available, but will be held under the originating organisation’s report number.
DTIC – Defense Technical Information Center – from the 1940s to the present day.
TIC provides information on defence-related research to US Government agencies and their contractors. All the public-release AD reports are available, including many very early reports identified by ATI numbers.
DOE – Department of Energy – from the 1940s to the present day.
All US reports disseminated to the general public by DOE are available, identified either by the originator’s report number or by DE accession numbers depending on date.
NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration – from the 1960s to the present day
All public release reports issued through the NASA STI program are available (identified by N accession numbers until the mid 1990s). We also hold many reports from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) 1915 – 1960.
ERIC – Educational Resources Information Center – from the mid-1960s to the present day.
ERIC is a national information system designed to provide ready access to an extensive body of education-related literature, supported by the US Department of Education. All documents issued by ERIC under ED accession numbers are available. References to EJ accession numbers are for articles and papers published in journals – we will be able to supply the majority of this material from our holdings of the relevant journals.
Most of the reports from these agencies are held in microfiche, and will normally be supplied as retention microfiche copies. If you need paper copies, please make this requirement clear when you send your request.
The agencies listed above are the main, but not the only, sources of US reports in our collection. We hold approximately 4 million in total.
As our holdings of US reports distributed by the agencies listed above are so substantial, we have not attempted to create records for them. Instead, we rely on the announcement bulletins, indexes and databases made available by the agencies to match requests with our holdings. So, if you find details of a report you require in those sources, please send a request through one of our document delivery services. If we haven’t got it in stock, we can try to order a copy for you.
Titles of other US report series held are included in the Document Supply Serials file of Explore the British Library. They are also available in our bibliographic publications.
Pre-check for US reports
If you have a source of reference for a particular report and are having a problem finding it, for a trial period we will check and inform you if it is in our collection. We regret our resources do not allow us to carry out subject searches - for this you may want to check Explore the British Library or use one of the British Library's information services.