Skip Navigation Links  The Library of Congress >> Especially for Researchers >> Research Centers
ScienceReference Services (Science, Technology, and Business Division)
  Home >> Technical Reports and Standards

Technical Reports and Standards

Technical Reports Collections

Experiments and observations of electricity
by Benjamin Franklin. London, 1774.

The Library of Congress holds one of the largest and most accessible collections of technical reports in the world. Depending on one's definition of a "technical report," the number of documents held by the Library may approach six million items, of which about three-and-a-quarter million are housed, in hardcopy, microform or digital media, in the Technical Reports and Standards Unit (TRS) of the Science, Technology, and Business Division (browse the "Technical Report Series Holdings listed alphabetically by Prefix/Code" for a detailed survey of holdings). Other reports can be found cataloged either in the Library's general collections or in the custody of appropriate specialized divisions, including the Asian Division. Consult Library of Congress Databases and Electronic Resources to locate online indexes for technical reports and standards. To find Library of Congress technical reports holdings not in TRS, consult the guide: Heavily Requested Technical Reports Series in LC General Collections. For a guide to which materials are added to the Library's permanent collections, see the Collection Policy Statement for Technical Reports, Working Papers and Preprints.

In support of current research, the Library is also striving to acquire important gray literature, i.e., domestic and foreign research documents that report on developments in the cutting edge of scientific and technological research. For online availability, try Science Accelerator, a portal for technical report information generated through federally funded research and development projects. Also browse the TRS list of technical reports on Digital Media, or search the Library of Congress online catalog. Please be aware though that many major technical reports collections are found across government, industry and academia (consult the List of Grey Literature Document Types for more detail). To locate and acquire these may require consulting numerous resources and contacting a multitude of agencies, organizations or research centers. Moreover, many technical reports available digitally reside in the Deep Web on the internet and are not indexed by search engines (also try GreySource - Index to Web based Resources in Grey Literature).

Major Technical Report Series in TRS
Historical Technical Report Collections in TRS
Specialized Collections in TRS

   Major Technical Report Series in TRS

Government-issued Series:

AD (AD-A, AD-B). Issued by ASTIA, the Armed Services Technical Information Agency, and its successors, the Defense Documentation Center (DDC) and the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) from 1943 to the present. These documents, available on microfiche and CD, (which can also be located thru NTIS) cover all subject fields of interest to the military and the Department of Defense (DoD). TRS has most of the titles in the AD and AD-A series, far fewer in the AD-B series, and significantly less in the other, more restricted series (AD-C, AD-D, ADL, ADM, AD-P). Documents not held on microfiche by TRS may be acquired from DTIC. TRS does not have, or provide information on, "classified" or "limited distribution" reports issued by DoD.

AID-PN. Issued by the U.S. Agency for International Development, this series covers technical and assistance information for use by AID specialists in developing countries. TRS has approximately 20,000 reports covering 1972 to 1987. However, the TRS collection does not cover all the reports issued by AID and provided to its regional centers, or the AID contract reports. Reports can be searched online at the Development Experience Clearinghouse (DEC).

ANL Report Series. Issued by the Argonne National Laboratory (DOE), TRS has unclassified older reports beginning with ANL-7151 and continuing into the ANL/AA to ANL-ZPR series.

BNL Report Series. Issued by the Brookhaven National Laboratory (DOE), TRS has unclassified older reports ranging from BNL-325 to BNL-52134 and continuing into the BNL-NCS, BNL-NUREG and BNL-TR series.

Hanford Engineer Works, atomic energy plant.
Richland, Washington

DOE / AEC. Initially reports of the AEC (Atomic Energy Commission), this series expanded and diversified along with the agency when it became the Department of Energy (this is the largest record group in the TRS collection). The reports are announced by NTIS as DE-numbers, but are issued as separate DOE series. Please note that reports issued prior to 1992 as DE-numbers can be located in TRS only by using the original issuing agency series numbering (for example: BNL, CONF, COO, DOE/EIS, SAN, plus a myriad of other minor series covering foreign research establishments, report series, or even individual journals). Beginning in 1992, TRS changed this arrangement and now files by DE-numbers. Along with reports on microfiche & Digital Media, TRS also has the positive microcards issued by AEC between 1943 and 1964. To read these cards requires a special viewer from which copies cannot be made. However, most reports are also available in hardcopy form in TRS. Abstracts of DOE publications released to the public are available on the Department's Office of Scientific and Technical Information Energy Citations Database (1948 - present). Also see the DOE Information Bridge, which consists of full-text documents produced and made available by the Department of Energy National Laboratories and grantees from 1995 forward.

Docket Reports. Docket Reports of the Atomic Energy Commission and its successors, the Federal Energy Administration and the Energy Research and Development Administration, contain information on the design and generation of nuclear power plants in the United States and cover the period 1956-78. Also see the NRC Document Collection or use their Agency wide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS).

Domestic Reports. Issued primarily by the Atomic Energy Commission (which served as the U.S. Government´s principal nuclear energy regulatory agency until 1974), but also by other government agencies and their contractors, including universities, these reports cover the period from the 1940's to the 1970's. Totaling about 187,000 documents, these reports include the hardcopy equivalents of the AEC positive microcards, technical translations, ARD and AID reports prepared by military contractors. For recent documents, search the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Agency wide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides access to all image and text documents that the NRC has made public since November 1, 1999.

ED Pubs. TRS has about 340,000 titles of the Department of Education's Education Research and Information Center (ERIC) reports beginning in 1959 (ending with ED 482063). A second set of ED-documents can be found in the Microform Reading Room. The last receipt of ED documents was July 2004. Documents can be searched online at the ED Pubs Online Ordering System. Education Journals (EJ) can be found in the Library's general collections.

EPA Reports. TRS has hundreds of thousands of technical reports on microfiche and on CD issued by the Evironmental Protection action. The distribution of EPA documents fell to NTIS, the National Technical Information Service, which maintains a database to identify these materials.

HRP. These microfiche, issued by NTIS during 1969-88, deal with health resources planning. TRS has 10,500 reports (ending with HRP 0907255).

NASA Langley Research Center, Full-Scale Wind Tunnel Drawing

NASA. TRS has NASA microfiche & CDs from 1962 to the present. The more than 400,000 reports in the collection are not limited to research performed at NASA installations only. However, they do not always include research performed by independent contractors, translations done for NASA, or articles and reports generated by other organizations but issued by NASA as N-reports. Various series of NASA and NACA reports are included in part in the general collections of the Library. For online access, use the NACA Technical Reports Server; the NASA Glenn Research Center Technical Reports; or the NTRS: NASA Technical Reports Server.

NUREG. Issued first by the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA), the predecessor of DOE, and now by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. TRS has over 6,500 documents in various series (BR, CP, CR, G, IA) beginning in 1976 and continuing to the present. The reports cover the operation of nuclear power plants. Documents can be searched online at NUREG-Series Publications.

PB Reports. TRS has hundreds of thousands of technical reports on microfiche and on CD issued by the Publication Board, starting with PB 160001. Through a series of intermediate agencies, the distribution of PB documents fell to NTIS, the National Technical Information Service, which maintains a database to identify these materials. Information about historical PBs....

Domestic Non-Government Series & International Series:

AGARD (Advisory Group for Aerospace Research & Development). AGARD is a NATO Agency formed in April 1954 under the authority of NATO's Military Committee. The organization consists of: a Board of National Delegates; a number of Technical Panels and Committees; and a Technical and Administrative staff. AGARD publishes some 40 to 50 unclassified scientific or technical publications each year, many of which are available in TRS. These include the proceedings of all its technical meetings, the conclusions of Working Groups, and publications specially commissioned by one of its Panels. AGARD also publishes a number of information bulletins and indexes to its publications. Search for AGARD/RTO Technical Publications at the NASA Technical Reports Server and the NATO Research and Technology Organization. TRS also has dozens of NATO technical reports on CD.

AIAA Papers. Conference papers of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and its predecessors issued on microfiche and CD are in TRS from 1963 onwards. Online searchable indexes to the papers are available at AIAA's Electronic Library and on the NTRS: NASA Technical Reports Server.

ASME Papers. TRS started to collect the papers of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1989. Presented at the society's meetings, these papers are usually not published in any other format. They generally are indexed in the Engineering Index, located in print in the Science Reading Room's reference alcoves. TRS also has a few ASME documents on CD.

International Astronautical Congress Papers. Technical papers (1995 - 2000) issued by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), which is composed of space agencies, space companies, societies, associations and institutes concentrating on the development and application of space assets. Link to IAC Papers Archive.

International Atomic Energy Agency. TRS has scores of publications issued by the IAEA (an independent international organization related to the United Nations) in the field of nuclear technologies covering safety, security, and environmental issues. Search the IAEA Publications, Documents & Reports site for a list of their documents.

San Francisco City Hall
earthquake damage, 1906

Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER) Reports. Dating from 1987, these reports cover the technical literature for earthquakes, earthquake engineering, natural hazard and disaster mitigation, and related topics. The reports are designed to convey specific research data and project results. TRS has in hard copy about 400 of these reports (list of titles). To help identify these reports and locate other related materials, use QUAKELINE, a bibliographic database of about 50,000 records.

RAND Corporation Technical Reports (print & CD). The RAND Corporation, an independent, nonprofit organization engaged in scientific research and analysis was created in 1946 to conduct aerospace research for the U.S. military. Today, its areas of expertise include child policy, civil and criminal justice, community and U.S. regional studies, drug policy, education, health, infrastructure, international policy, methodology, national security, population and aging, science and technology, and terrorism. RAND publications include monographs, technical reports, documented briefings, conference proceedings, congressional testimony, issue papers, research briefs, white papers, and dissertations from the RAND Graduate School. TRS has in hard copy about 5,000 older RAND Memorandum (ending with RM-6385), Notes (ending with N-3620), Papers (ending with P-8024) and Reports (ending with R-4213). Rand materials can also be found in the Library's general collections:

Search the RAND Archive for over 17,000 titles dating back to 1948. RAND documents published in various technical reports series for public release are also indexed in NTIS and DTIC.

SAE Technical Papers Society of Automotive Engineers 1965 to present. The Library receives annual accumulations of the microfiche & CD series, and since 1992 it receives the hardcopy versions as soon as they are published. SAE Technical Papers are indexed (since 1906) on the SAE public web site.

SPE Technical Papers of the Society of Petroleum Engineers 1957 to 1994. TRS received selective annual accumulations of these microfiche from 1957 until publication in that format ceased in 1994. In every case, these papers were delivered at conferences sponsored by the Society. Indexes can be found in the Science Reading Room, or by searching OnePetro, an online library of technical literature for the oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) industry. Caution: Not all papers listed in the indexes are actually published; they were either not submitted for publication, not delivered at the conferences, or eliminated by peer review. In addition, papers were not necessarily published in chronological order.

Technical Reports Published by Foreign Academic and Research Institutions. TRS holds a wide range of technical reports covering scientific findings from universities and private enterprises throughout the world, both in print and on CD. Countries represented include: Argentina; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Brazil; Canada; Chile; Czech Republic; Denmark; Finland; France; Germany; Great Britain; Greece; Honk Kong; Hungary; India; Israel; Italy; Japan; Norway; Netherlands; New Zealand; Poland; Portugal; Romania; South Africa; Spain; Sweden; and Switzerland. Also see "Technical Reports and Working Papers in Business and Economics."

Top of Page Top of Page

   Historical Technical Report Collections in TRS

U.S. M-10 tank destroyer. March 1943

OSRD. In June 1941, the U.S. government established the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), to conduct research in war-related technology. The research conducted by 19 subject-specific divisions was summarized in a series of histories after the war. More than thirty thousand documents, describing original research in such areas as war chemistry (including gases and protective measures), anti-fouling paints, radar, sonar, jungle communications, explosives, missiles, penicillin, psychological training of pilots, metallurgy, and effects of bombs, are archived in TRS. More information....


Historical PB Reports. Immediately following World War II, the Publications Board (PB) of the Department of Commerce began to issue unclassified research reports performed under contract for OSRD. Also released were reports describing research performed by German industries, universities, and government laboratories in support of the Nazi war effort (part of the captured German document series - also see the National Archives holdings). The German data were collected by research teams of the Field Intelligence Agency Technical (FIAT), the British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee (BIOS), the Combined Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee (CIOS), and the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA). These reports contained patents, company papers, interviews of key personnel, and other related materials (also see the guide: Heavily Requested Technical Reports Series in LC General Collections). By 1947, the Publications Board began to extend its coverage to include reports from research programs established by other U. S. government agencies. Subsequently, as German sources dried up, the coverage shifted totally to U.S. government contract research reports. The first 160,000 reports issued as PBs are in hardcopy and microform and held by TRS. More information....

Reports of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS). World War II Allied bombing campaigns are a dominant (and at times controversial) feature of historical accounts of the war. The Library of Congress holds a complete set of USSBS reports in the general collection documenting the military, economic and morale effects of the bombing in the European and Pacific Theaters (some of these reports are also held in TRS as part of the Publications Board (PB) collection). More information & bibliography...

Synthetic Rubber Project. In 1942, U.S. rubber and chemical companies, university research institutes, and government laboratories joined forces to produce synthetic rubber and to make and test tires for aircraft and vehicles from this material. This unique venture, which lasted until 1953, is documented in 8,000 technical reports, describing meetings, research, technical processes, and tire tests. One complete set of this documentation is archived in TRS. More Information....

Technical Oil Mission. The microfilm reports in this collection cover the Germany effort in the 1930s and early 1940s to develop synthetic oil and other fuels.The research concentrated on petroleum refining and the gas-synthesis and coal-hydrogenation processes for producing oil and coal. Related fields that were investigated included coal gasification, oxygen production, alcohol manufacture, lubricating oil production and the production of waxes and edible fats. The data were collected after the war and microfilmed in Germany and other parts of Europe by the Technical Oil Mission operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Fuel and Power for Great Britain, and the Petroleum Administration for War and the Bureau of Mines for the United States. For a history of the German / United States efforts for developing synthetic fuels, see the US. Department of Energy's Early Days of Coal Research.

TT. Technical Translations series consists of English-language translations of non-English scientific and technical material pertinent to a government agency's mission. More information....

ADI (American Documentation Institute)Technical Reports. Founded in 1937 (becoming the American Society for Information Science (ASIS) in 1968), the 10,000 hard copy and microfilm ADI reports in TRS cover a wide-range of subjects. More information...

Top of Page Top of Page

   Specialized Collections in TRS

Antoinette IV, 1908

L'Aerophile Collection. In 1970, TRS acquired this historical aviation collection of the editorial office for the French monthly illustrated revue L'Aerophile (published 1893-1947). The collection reflects the development of aviation over a 50-year span and contains correspondence on aeronautics, manuscripts, design details for aircraft engines, wings, etc. and information and brochures about early aircraft companies. The collection also includes hundreds of photographs of famous aviators and aircraft designers. The material is stored in 150 archival boxes (about 50 lin. ft.) and because of its fragile condition, is made available only to serious researchers. More information...


Aeronautics Card Catalog. TRS has a card catalog describing thousands of books, reports, and magazine & journal articles written from the 19th to mid-20th century on aeronautics. The catalog is divided into four sections: author; subject (including first words in titles); date (the World War II years, 1940-1945); and biographies (arranged alphabetically by person). The entries contain basic author, title and source information, and are primarily from English language materials, although other foreign language sources are also included. To locate photographs from the era, see the TRS L'Aerophile Collection, or search the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC).

Report of G   (More page image examples)

Japanese Medical Experiments During World War II. These reports are part of the information obtained by American investigators from members of the infamous Kwantung Army Water Supply and Purification Department (boeki Kyusui Bu), stationed in Manchuria and commanded by Lt. Gen. Shiro Ishii. Imperial Japan's Biological Warfare Unit conducted experiments (often using human guinea pigs) on how to defend against bacteriological attacks, and conversely, how to use biological agents against enemies. These reports were translated into English and housed over time at different military locations. The pages have been placed in polyester sleeves and preserved in 16 archival boxes (the reports were also photocopied and bound as a preservation measure). The individual titles are: Report of A; Report of G; and, Report of Q (Parts 1 & 2; and, Parts 3 & 4) - the letters represent the biological agents studied: A, for anthrax; G, for glanders; and Q, for plague. Some of the descriptions of human tissues and organs include illustrations, some of which are color coded. Originally classified prior to transfer to the Library from the Dugway, Utah, Proving Ground library, the security level has been downgraded over the years, from Secret, to Confidential, and finally (as of 1960) Unclassified.
      For further reading, see Japanese Biomedical Experimentation During the World-War-II Era, part of the The Textbooks of Military Medicine Series maintained by the The Borden Institute of the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School. Or search the Library of Congress catalog under World War, 1939-1945 Prisoners and prisons, Japanese. The National Archives also holds several thousand documents on Japanese biological warfare in their Japanese War Crimes collection.

Sams Photofact (print & CD). Sams publishes repair manuals containing printed schematics and technical service data for different models and brand names covering a wide variety of consumer electronic equipment. A bound set of schematics for televisions, computers (computerfacts) and VCRs (VCRfacts) are available in TRS. Other titles / editions by Howard W. Sams & Co. can be found in the Library of Congress general collection. Users can find the Sams number by searching the Sams PHOTOFACT® Repair Schematics website by brand names or model numbers to help identify and request schematics held in the Library.

United States Copyright restrictions prevent copying entire copyrighted documents. However, the fair use provision does permit reproduction of relevant portions (small parts) of these documents. Photocopiers, microform reader/printers and computer terminals are available for patron use in the Science Reading Room. TRS materials are non-circulating and are not to leave the Science Reading Room area.
Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> Technical Reports and Standards
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
   November 30, 2012
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian