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Economic Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis  

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Home » About FRASER™


The Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research (FRASER®) is a unique project of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis that currently consists of over 300 thousand pages of historical economic data. The goal of FRASER® is to contribute to the quality of scientific economic research through the creation of a public electronic archive of economic statistical publications and data, furthermore, it represents a logical extension of the long-standing mission of the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to provide timely and convenient data to scholars, analysts, students and interested observers of the U.S. economy.

Empirical economic research depends on economic data, especially data published by governments. Such data present two difficulties for researchers. First, certain government documents can be difficult to locate, particularly older volumes, special issues associated with benchmarks or major revisions, and long sequences of issues. Second, published figures frequently are revised by their issuers. FRASER is designed to address both of these issues.

Presentation from Fall Federal Depository Library Conference
October 19, 2004
Full Text (PDF) | Slide Show (PPT)

FRASER® and the Center for Economic Documents Digitization

FRASER® is the product of the Center for Economic Documents Digitization (CEDD). The mission of CEDD is to preserve the nation's economic history through digitization.

Project Scope

FRASER® consists of an archive of economic statistical publications and an automated system to retrieve both images and data. Within the archive is an image library of economic statistical publications and the data extracted from those publications. The FRASER® database is designed to retain information linking each data point to its source publication, including the date of publication. The automated data retrieval system has been developed to allow users to select any desired subset of FRASER’s images and data.

Technical Process

The historical economic data publications in FRASER® will be included in an electronic archive of government publications being created through a nationwide collaborative effort of librarians. To maintain technical consistency with that effort, each of the publications collected by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has been scanned into tag(ged) image file format (TIFF) that allows each file to be digitally “cleaned” of non-printed marks (such as handwritten notations, creases, or stapler marks) or imperfections created during the scanning process. The clean file is then run through an optical character recognition (OCR) software application that images the file, introduces metadata, and converts the file to Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF), as well as compressing the scanned image from 600 dpi to 300 dpi.


We are grateful for the assistance from the Federal Depository Library program libraries, as well as the following libraries:

  • St. Louis Public Library
  • Federal Reserve Bank libraries
  • University of Missouri--Columbia
  • University of Missouri--Kansas City
  • University of Missouri--St. Louis
  • Norwich University
  • Creighton University
  • Kansas City Public Library
  • Long Island University
  • Denison University
  • Everett Public Library
  • Library of Michigan

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