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Technical Reports

Guide to locating and accessing technical reports

TRAIL Technical report Digitization Initiative

The TRAIL project is an initiative sponsored by academic libraries around the country to digitize older technical reports that are otherwise very difficult to find.

Search U.S. government technical reports issued primarily prior to 1976 and digitized by TRAIL.

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TRAIL focuses on technical reports published before 1976, which often are not included in indexes to the technical report literature.

For example, much of the seminal work in nuclear physics and health effects of radiation was done in the 1930's-1950's, prior to widespread electronic access to material.


Technical reports are in depth studies of a particular technology or process, typically contracted by a federal agency or corporation.  These technical reports typically address a very specialized subject, but in great detail, so they can be quite valuable sources of information.  

Some technical reports are indexed with journals and can be found in the 'Find Articles' tab, but there are specialized indexes of technical report information, typically of reports sponsored by the US Government. 

Technical Report Sources

The Purdue Libraries have a substantial collection of print and microfiche technical reports as well. Please ask for assistance to help locate a technical report.