Digital Library Of Amateur Radio And Communications Is A Treasure Trove

Having a big bookshelf of ham radio books and magazines used to be a point of bragging right for hams. These days, you are more likely to just browse the internet for information. But you can still have, virtually, that big shelf of old ham books, thanks to the DLARC — the digital library of Amateur Radio and Communications.

A grant from a private foundation has enable the Internet Archive to scan and index a trove of ham radio publications, including the old Callbooks, 73 Magazine, several ham radio group’s newsletters from around the globe, Radio Craft, and manuals from Icom, Kenwood, Yaesu, and others.

There are some old QST magazines and the index to newer ones. You can find catalogs and military documents. We miss a lot of these old magazines and newsletters. For example, RCA’s “Ham Tips” is something you won’t find anything like anymore. Most of the material is in English, but there are some other languages represented. For example, the Dutch version of Popular Electronics is available. There’s also material in Afrikaans, Japanese, German, and Spanish.

Some of this is only of historical interest. But some of the RF and electronic design information in here is timeless. Also, if you want to find information about that boat anchor you bought at the garage sale, this isn’t a bad place to look for the original manuals. It reminded us, on a smaller scale, of the World Radio History site, where we often do research for Hackaday posts about things from the past.

Not a ham? Doesn’t matter. A lot of this information is interesting to anyone who wants to know more about electronics. Then again, why aren’t you? [Dan Maloney] can get you going for under $50. If you think of hams as old people banging on code keys, you might be surprised at what the modern ham station looks like.

24 thoughts on “Digital Library Of Amateur Radio And Communications Is A Treasure Trove

  1. Bookmarked!
    But it seems ironic that the form of communication (amateur radio) that will be the most needed should another Carrington Event occur, or Zombie Apocalypse, is archived on something that will likely fail first! 🤔

    1. Lol, perhaps that’s why us crusty old hams still maintain our dust covered books and stacks of disorganized magazines. In the event of that one in a millennium chance we might possibly, perhaps, offhandedly need an archaic reference. The reality is I’m just too lazy to box up and find a good home for the hardcopy reference material.

      1. Other crusty old hams realize that mobility will be important when the SHTF, and will just have to trust that SOME computers will survive, even when the Internet doesn’t. Archives like this are great to have, to browse and download articles that one might want to save onto an off-line personal archive.

        1. It wouldn’t take long to switch over to a mesh radio network network, an internet of hams, if you will. At the very least a relay system for passing on information like a drop box.
          Personally I think I’d welcome a great leveling event, we seem overdue.

        2. True. Get low cost, small pc plus some thumbdrives which are very cheap now. Also buy 2nd hand microwave, cut off cord ( use it on a project). Put pc, drives and a small radio or two (2m hf even sw portable with ssb ) and close it up after downloading all kinds of info ( techy ham stuff, history, Bible/ Torah/ Koran) and tape it shut. Open after big BOOM. Restart USA. 73 WA2KBZ.

    2. I’m a ham radio operator with a 1500 watt station and good antennas on a tower, but I also still have at least three low power rigs (used for Field Day and camping) that I hang onto simply because I am pathologically unable to get rid of something that still functions, or that I might want someday to convert to something else.

      It has occurred to me, though, that if the Apocalypse comes the use of those low power rigs in conjunction with a solar panel (also from Field Day and camping) might be worth an awful lot in trade (food, etc) with the rest of the neighborhood. At least until some armed militia decides it deserves them more than I do.

    3. Um, why not have a local copy?
      Of the most interesting things, at least, as a start? 🙂

      Also, we had a global Packet Radio network and let it die in favor of the comfy internet. Do we really deserve any better?

  2. It’s worth mentioning that the “Private Foundation” if which is now know as Long timw ago when the internet was a baby, a few hams had the idea that maybe they could make use of this new communications system and they requested a /8 address block. They received it and in the coming decades the value of those addresses rose and rose. Finally, they relalized that the value of those addresses were better converted to money if that money was then given to worthy causes. They’ve been in the process of doing that for some time now.

    This project is just one of the many worthy causes that AMPR has supported over the years and I appreciate their effort. For anyone who has never had to give out grants, it’s a lot harder to give away money that you’d think.

    1. Thanks for your kind words about our foundation. The legal name for the foundation is Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC). The URL for our website used to be AMPR.Org (AMPR is short for amateur packet radio), but now you can access our website by going to ARDC.Net.

      In 2022, ARDC awarded 101 grants totaling $6 million and distributed more than $8 million, including some grants that were approved in 2021. If any of you would like more information, please go to You can also email us at

    2. I could help you with that. Just kidding, lol, but seriously, there are people in my area in the 2nd poorest county in Michigan that could use help in repairing their substandard housing. The local government is no help; they only want to displace the poor and eject them from the community.

      1. What does that do for radio? Is section 18 going to help radio ? There are 50 federal government programs plus 50 More state and local plus Charity and non profit working on housing. Are any of them, going to direct there money to a radio knowledge archive like this? Why would you take money given for radio and send it to Michigan, a state ran in the ground by single party rule. Whitmer got reelected, it seems they like it that way.

        1. I’m running a cat farm and I think the money would be better spent not in Michigan but here on the farm. Cats leap, play, and are full of cuddly cuteness. The CPD or “Ally Cats” as the locals call them. Have a hard time with attenuation and requires a new repeater station on that meowtan over there. Seems most of their current funding is alloted to cat nip infused treats and fresh water…

    1. Americanradiohistory is magazines, and some books. And it’s not specific to ham radio. (And I find it harder and harder to find things, they shift things around and their search engine isn’t useful, even when I know an article exists).

      This archive is specific to ham radio. And includes other media.

      It is worth noting that while there may be new material, had books about ham radio, and 73 and QEX and older QSTs. So this may be a better category, but some of it was already there.

  3. Oh my! Free access to the entire catalogue of Wayne Green’s thoughtful, unique, and well-reasoned dissertations? Christmas doth commence early…

    Seriously though this is really cool…lots of great technical content in those old magazines.

  4. I am a ham and also a librarian and I could not jump on this fast enough. The archivist is facilitative, communicative and brilliant. I worked with her to upload some of the records of the Athens Radio Club (Georgia) going back to the 1990s including minutes and event documentation. If you can do all the things you do on radio this is not difficult.–Kathleen, KN4IJM

  5. So glad to learn about the archiving activities of ARC’S. My club has been continuously active since the 1930’s and some members for more than half that span. I’ll pass this thread along. Thanks!

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