requently Asked Questions

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NO: Selling site content The scans on this site were made at considerable expense running well into six figures overall. It is unethical to steal our work to make CDs or flash drives to sell on eBay.  
Take Down policy Read the site policy on take-downs (removal of items)

Briefly, if you feel something you own is on the site without consent you may ask for its immediate removal upon receipt of a documented request.
What does the sign mean on some pages The arrow sign indicates an issue or a publication that is newer to the site and allows the user to find "new" items easily
Gray Text What does grayed out text mean? In the issue listings, some editions will appear in gray text. That is a convention used on the whole site to indicated issues that are missing, needed and that we do not have.
Mobile Version Is there a mobile version of the site? No. Have you tried to read a PDF of a tabloid publication on a smartphone screen? The site works fine in native mode on tablets, the smallest size device the site is targeted to.
Why was
this site created?
What is the objective of operating this site?

There is so much printed material about radio and television that is becoming harder and harder to find. Libraries are discarding (often to the recycle bin) many titles. Other collections are very limited in access so "the rest of us" can't find information we want.

The site began over a decade ago when I found I was often being asked questions I could answer from my own library. So I went digital for all to see! And, of course, the site has been a major "image enhancement" for my career as a broadcast consultant.

We hope the site is making the history of all aspects of radio and TV easier to access. It's a reward to see the daily views increasing over the years.

Missing pages I looked at one magazine, but some of the pages are missing. Why did you remove them? Some of the issues and editions we have collected are missing pages, have had covers removed, have had coupons or photos cut out. These cases fall under the "it's better than nothing" header; we try to get complete editions but they are not always available. But no part of a magazine is ever intentionally skipped. We keep a list of incompletes and are always looking for better replacements.
Blurry Graphics or text are low resolution, blurry or otherwise of poor quality 1. PDFs are created in a layered format. Some PDF readers or browser plug-ins may not load anything except the first layer. Try flushing the browser cache or closing and reloading the browser.
2. Some readers do not "like" PDFs with embedded OCR text. You may want to try one of many freeware plugins or utilities.
Blurry Some PDFs have poor contrast and the pictures are not clear Many old publications have been obtained which have aged discolored paper or faded ink and poor contrast. While the processing software used can improve this slightly, aged originals may often produce less than perfect scans and PDFs. We feel that preserving the content with less than perfect esthetics is better than no preservation at all.
Scanning What is the equipment and software you use for the site? Our sheet feed scanners are a pair of Kodak i3250 units with the flatbed attachment, and non-destructive "library scanning" is done with an Atiz BookDrive Mark 2. We also have a variety of flatbeds and paper cutters. See the complete details here.
Resolution Why don't you have higher resolution or less compressed files? All publications scanned here are done at 300 dpi. But a typical 100 page magazine could be well over 300 mb in that raw format, and this would put very costly demands on our server. So we use software to create the PDF that compresses the scan so that it uses less server space and downloads quickly. Most users agree that the compromise between size and resolution is a fair solution.
Can I donate some magazines? I have some publications that you don't have on the site. Can I donate them? Check with me via email to see if the items are of interest and fit the vision of the scope of the site. I'd love to receive more donations to complete collections or to add new publications.
If you want the magazines returned, I can provide shipping costs both ways in North America. For other areas, we can always check for the most economical method of transport.
Copy Protection Why can't I print or extract pages from most PDFs? Some documents are used with the owner's permission and consent. Often, a condition of this usage is to discouraging further reproduction by means of copy and print protection.
Do you sell DVDs? Can I buy the site contents on DVD instead of downloading. No. The site does not "own" the content. Much is used with the owner's permission but we can not sell it. Further, fulfillment would be a great burden for a non-profit site.
Hi quality scans I want a higher quality scan of a picture. As a rule, I don't have the time to locate, unpack and scan archived paper originals to get a specific item.

I do have the raw 300 dpi scans on an NAS (nearly 24t of data) of many publications but it's time consuming to locate specific pages and extract them. Unless your need is for an exhibit at a registered museum or similarly wide reaching purpose, I generally have to decline such requests. But feel free to ask... email costs nothing to send.
Blurry in Firefox I use Firefox. The PDFs are illegible. The built in PDF viewer in many versions of FireFix does not display layered PDFs correctly. Try using the free Adobe Reader add-in. The Adobe site detects you operating system and will download the right version. In Firefox, make sure Options > General > Applications has the Adobe reader selected as the default for PDF files. This will improve PDF rendering on all sites!
Blurry in Google Chrome I use Chrome for my browser. The graphics are blurry and some text is missing or blurry Like Firefox, the built-in PDF rendering engine does not always respond well to layered text-searchable PDF files. I suggest using the free Adobe Reader add-in. The Adobe site detects your operating system and will download the right version. In Chrome, follow the instructions at the Chrome support site.
Do you have...? I don't see an issue or a title I want on the site. Do you have it? If a publication or issues of a publication are not on the site, I don't have it. At any time, there will be a few items I have just received that are in processing, but otherwise, I do not have it and "what you see is what you get."
Search results are garbled I have done searches and the results are garbled or have strange typos Doing Optical Character Recognition on old discolored or faded documents is difficult. OCR attempts to recognize letters from the scanned "picture" but if there is poor contrast, unusual type styles or other conditions the result will be imperfect. Short of manually editing the OCR text on all 4,000,000 pages on the site, there is no "better way".
I'm looking for information on... I am looking for information on a station or a piece of equipment... This site is What You See is What You Get. I do  not have additional accesable resources or unpublished material. In a sense, I am a librarian, not a pure historian.

I receive many requests for additional data on equipment and stations and such. If you can't find what you want using the full site search then I can't help. 
I'm looking for information about a person... I am looking for information on a family member who was in radio..
I receive many requests for additional data on people and who worked in radio and TV. If you can't find what you want using the full site search then I can't help. Consider local newspaper archives, genealogy services and our friend Google.
I'm looking for recordings or video... I am looking for a program or audio of a particular person. We do not archive video and audio recordings, just printed matter. There are a number of archives such as the Library of Congress, the library at the University of Maryland, etc. that do that function with amazingly large budgets.

Paley Center in Los Angeles

(Formerly The Museum of Radio and Television)


Library of American Broadcasting at the University of Maryland


Bad Scans Most of the documents are very readable, but one of your publications is not as good. We have obtained a variety of third-party scans to complete collections or to enhance the site. Some have used different scanning processes and compression software and are not as good as I would like. Until I can find originals to scan, let's make the best of what we can find.
Bad Links I tried to view a publication, and it won't open. Or it opens the wrong document... With well over five million pages of material on the site, there are occasional errors in file naming or hyperlinks.

Please email me with any errors or corrections. We very much appreciate hearing about errors and mistakes as our site users are our best proofreaders.
Missing issues Some of the issues of publications are missing. Assembling a collection of out of print publications is not unlike collecting stamps or coins. Some issues are very rare. Over time, missing issues will be filled in, but there is no instant fix for this, nor can a timetable be given.
I'd like to donate money I want to support the site. Can I send you money by PayPal? Please don't send money. The site is not commercial, and the only links are to sites than enhance the user's discovery of related documents or credits for use of protected material. I do not wish to profit or give the impression of commercialization of this preservation project.

Consider donating to The Broadcasters Foundation instead. The link is at the bottom of the home page, and it supports fellow radio and TV folks who are going through hard times.
I want to contribute but... I'd like to make a donation of documents or magazines but don't want to spend money shipping. If the documents are needed to complete collections or unusual, I'll send you a prepaid UPS label for a package. You just pack and drop off the stuff at a UPS Store and that's it!
I like to credit contributors but if you wish to remain anonymous that is OK too.
Credits on site I'd like to give some estate publications. We'd be delighted to have a parent or relative's collections if they contain missing issues or new titles. Quite a few pages already bear something like "From the Smith Family honoring Fred Smith". That way a relative's collection lives on and is shared.
Can I loan material for scanning? I have some items you may want to scan but I want them back. This is a common question. And yes, if you have items I really need, I will scan delicately and with no damage to the document or its binding and return the items. I'll take care of the return shipping and sometimes, if the items are very important, I'll send a prepaid shipping label if you can't justify the shipping costs.
Ham Radio Why do you have so few ham radio publications? I was once an amateur and a MW DXer as well. But for the moment, much amateur material is protected by copyright, particularly the ARRL and British and Australian publications. When content becomes available, we will try to add it. For some reason, ham radio associations don't want the broader promotion and are happy to see the hobby fade away.
Searching How is your search function done? I use a program called Zoom Search Engine, which creates search databases. To make searching easier, I split all documents into individual pages, nearly 6 million of them, so a search only downloads a page. I have separate searches for many individual publications plus sub-category searches and a global full site search.
Why are searches slow? I have to wait for searches to give results. Why? We have on server, often handling over 1000 requests an hour. We don't have a server farm, so searches will take time, particularly the full site search and the entire section (color) searches. Maybe when we win the lottery....
PDF creation The PDFs don't look like typical Adobe Acrobat PDFs I use Foxit PDF Compressor Pro, which is used by major corporations for compact storage and OCR of forms and documents. It's in the mid-4 figure cost range, with a low 4-figure annual renewal fee. It's worth it as it produces very legible and compact web-friendly PDFs unlike any other product.
Older PDFs Why do some of the older PDFs on the site look less clear than newer additions? I have only had the Foxit professional product (see above) since Q2 of 2013. While I have rescanned some older material to make it better looking, I have a monthly limit on pages so not everything will be redone quickly.
How is the site financed? There are no ads or things for sale on the site. How is that possible? I've been in radio for nearly 60 years, and radio treated me well (most of the time). This site is a way of giving back to those who also love the art and the science and the business of radio. Since I work as a radio consultant, the site contributes to my "awareness" in the industry and is my only form of promotion (It works, as I continue to work on various projects as I enter my 60th year in the business).
Who does this? How many people are involved in preparing this site? One-person does most of the work on North American publications. There are many European and Australian contributors, with David Andrews in the UK actually acquiring, and scanning for the site using the same software. .
Are there safe backups? How is the site content protected? I have off-site backups at several locations under the custody of well-respected radio historians. I also have several hearing-impaired persons who help with the major flatbed and Atiz Bookscan digitizing projects. There is also cloud backup.
Where are the "originals" How do you store the original documents? 80% of the site content comes from publications I have bought or outright donations. I store some in sealed boxes in poly bags; others are recycled after scanning. Some loaned items are scanned and returned, and there are also some items from public domain sources like the excellent Internet Archive (which have been reprocessed and divided into discreet issues).
Other Questions I have a question that is not answered here. Send your question by clicking here.
Please consider donating or loaning publications in your collection.