Internet Archive’s Digital Library of Amateur Radio & Communications is quickly growing to become an important archive of radio’s past and present. The collection has blossomed to well over 51,000 items related to ham radio, shortwave listening, scanners, and related communications. The newest additions include books, journals and magazines, newsletters, and archives of early Internet discussion lists.
More than 3,300 books and magazines are now available via controlled digital lending in the DLARC lending library. These materials, including hundreds of magazine and journal issues including Popular Electronics, RF Design, and General Radio Experimenter, can be borrowed for online or offline reading, one reader at a time, by anyone with a free Internet Archive account. DLARC has also added amateur radio magazines QST from 1912-1961, Radio & Television News from 1919-1959, and Radio magazine from 1920-1947.
Nearly 1,300 episodes of The RAIN Report, an audio program that aired news and interviews relevant to the amateur radio community from 1985-2019, are now available, including hundreds of lost episodes, thanks to the help of the program’s producer, Hap Holly. DLARC has also added the 700-episode library of the National Radio Club DX Audio Service, which reported radio-related news from 1985 through 2015.
The archive of radio-related podcasts now includes QSO Today, Linux in the Ham Shack, RAIN Hamcast, Amateur Logic, and others.
Radio clubs are utilizing the DLARC archive to provide long-term backup of content and increase their visibility to new audiences. The Milwaukee Radio Amateurs’ Club, one of the oldest ham radio groups, is uploading its entire historical archive, an unparalleled collection of newsletters, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and meeting minutes documenting the group’s history.
Other group newsletters include British Amateur Television Club’s CQ-TV, the CWops Solid Copy newsletter for Morse code enthusiasts, Boulder Amateur Television Club TV Repeater’s REPEATER, and Scope, the newsletter of the Palomar Amateur Radio Club. The DLARC library has also added newsletters from radio clubs around the world, including the Dutch Amateur Radio Union, the Chester & District Radio Society (England), and the defunct Canadian Amateur Radio Operators’ Association.
DLARC now archives papers and presentation slides from 41 years of TAPR conferences, including the ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference, and the Computer Networking Conference. The collection is accessible like never before, full-text searchable and with detailed metadata. In addition, TAPR’s Packet Status Register newsletter, published since 1982, is also archived.
DLARC has also begun archiving amateur radio email discussion lists, so far making tens of thousands of discussion threads available and searchable — going as far back as the late 1980s — for the first time in decades. The selection includes INFO-HAMS Digest, Boatanchors (a mailing list for fans of vacuum tube radios), Packet-Radio Digest, and Ham-Digital Digest.
DLARC is funded by a significant grant from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) to create a digital library that documents, preserves, and provides open access to the history of this community.
The Digital Library of Amateur Radio & Communications invites radio clubs and individuals to submit collections of material, whether they are already in digital format or not. Anyone with material to contribute, questions about the project, or interest in creating a digital library for other professional communities, please contact:
Kay Savetz, K6KJN
Program Manager, Special Collections
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