Mission and Scope

FRASER is a digital library of U.S. economic, financial, and banking history—particularly the history of the Federal Reserve System.

Providing economic information and data to the public is an important mission for the St. Louis Fed started by former St. Louis Fed Research Director Homer Jones in 1958. FRASER began as a data preservation and accessibility project of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in 2004 and now provides access to data and policy documents from the Federal Reserve System and many other institutions.

Part of this mission includes seeking out a wide range of historical materials. For a detailed overview of the scope of the FRASER collection, see the Collection Development Policy or this list of highlighted content. In some cases, there are gaps in collections that we strive to fill. Our Needs List identifies the specific documents needed to complete collections already on FRASER, as well as materials we have not yet digitized but would like to. To better inform our users, our staff occasionally add digital material to FRASER from other sources such as the Internet Archive and the American Memory program of the Library of Congress in order to provide further context for materials digitized for FRASER.

FRASER can be used in conjunction with other Federal Reserve resources, including FRED, ALFRED, the Federal Reserve History website, and curriculum materials developed by the Fed's economic education staff. To connect the public to our free economic history materials, our staff also add links to FRASER resources from relevant Wikipedia pages.

Discriminatory Content

Diversity is critical to the Federal Reserve, and we are firmly committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture throughout the Federal Reserve System. Collections within FRASER contain historical language, content, and descriptions that reflect the time period within which they were created and the views of their creators. Certain collections contain objectionable content—for example, discriminatory or biased language used to refer to racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. These viewpoints and attitudes are inconsistent with our values, but the original descriptions are retained to ensure that they are not erased from the historical record.

Usability & Accessibility

FRASER uses open web standards to make content accessible to as many people as possible. If you have difficulty accessing FRASER content or have suggestions for improvement, please contact us at FRASER@stls.frb.org.

Technical Information

Documents digitized for FRASER have been processed by optical character recognition (OCR) software to provide machine-readable text and to assist in full-text searching. Strict scanning and image correction standards are followed to ensure the best possible OCR results, but the resulting text or data are kept as they are and are not corrected or modified in any way. Therefore, users should check any text or data copied directly from a PDF for inaccuracies.

Some born-digital publications have been downloaded from their original institutions or secondary sources, including the websites of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Government Printing Office (GPO). These files may have different security or content attributes than materials produced for FRASER.

As part of our work with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), FRASER provides access to metadata records via OAI-PMH. Documentation for our API is available, along with an overview of our MODS metadata schema implementation.

FRASER Search Widget

The FRASER search widget allows you to embed a code snippet into your page to provide your users with quick access to the FRASER archives.

Instructions: Add the following code snipped to your webpage to allow your users to search the FRASER archive.


We gratefully acknowledge the generous assistance from our partners:

Brookings Institution
Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center
Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) libraries
Federal Reserve System libraries
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
Library of Congress
Missouri Historical Society
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
St. Louis Public Library
University of Utah
Washington University in St. Louis
U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) (digital preservation partner)
GPO Official Partnership Logo Image

Please contact us if you would like to discuss collaborating on an appropriate digitization project or have documents you would like to contribute to the FRASER collection.