Absorption bands in the range of 350–950 nm, induced in copper-containing lead borate glasses by -rays were identified and characterized. The effect of irradiation dose, copper oxide and lead oxide contents on the intensity and position of the induced absorption bands were also considered. Several induced absorption bands were observed. At least two bands in the ranges of 740–780 and 850–870 nm could be identified. They are suggested to be associated with induced Cu(2+) ions. The band in the 800–830 nm (1.6 eV) range is ascribed to the Pb(3+) ion, whereas others in the ranges of 600–630 and 650–730 nm are associated with the intrinsic defects formed in the base glass.