Documentary Archive Radio Communications

International Foundation QSL Collection

Media: A Mirror of the World

Little more than a century ago the first signal ignited the age of radio communications. Today a dense information network spans the globe, and we can receive pictures and data by radio from the very frontiers of our solar system. But technical improvements, stunning as they may be, do not cover the entire story of what happened - and why. Technical solutions are sought and found by people, and people are always part and parcel of their respective societies. The media, in that sense, accurately mirror the world at large, reflecting who decides what we are allowed to know, what we are expected to believe, and whether we are entitled or forbidden to communicate.
We, the volunteers of the Documentary Archive, aim to collect even apparently “unimportant” items of evidence from these 120 years of radio history, to save them from getting lost and keep them for generations to come; true to our motto:
The future needs a memory

International Foundation QSL Collection,

a strictly non- profit volunteer institute with headquarters in Vienna, Austria, was founded more than twenty years ago. It is supported by individuals, amateur radio societies, broadcasters and broadcast listeners, archives, historians, publishers, enterprises etc. on all continents. A board oversees our collections and archives, and controls all projects. We collect whatever relates to the history of radio (with the sole exception of “hardware”: we are not a radio museum!) With more than six million objects filed, we are the world's biggest organization of its kind, and the only one with such a wealth of interdisciplinary collections. Thecollection of QSL cards, awards, and logbooks, covers the entire era from pioneer days to today. It is a unique and gigantic global data base, supplemented by a photo collection, a library of books and magazines, and a large documentary unit of letters, public and private records, research files and similar archival material. The audio-visual archives consist of thousands of films, videos, private and broadcast tapes and discs – and of downloads from the most perishable medium, the internet.
We do not buy or sell but rely entirely on donations. Individuals have given us treasures unearthed at home, donated parts of their private collections, or, as we prefer, bequeathed material to us during their lifetime.

How to make sure your personal collection will survive

We receive bequests, exchange items of which we have multiple exemplars with other archives etc. All projects and overheads are financed entirely by charitable donations. Whatever we keep Is available to the public, and everybody is welcome, at any time, to contact us for an appointment.
To prevent the loss of your own private collection of radio related items we invite you to join our ranks and sign a Declaration of Support (No membership fee or other financial obligation involved) and/or a Declaration of Bequest. Please note that we collect no radio hardware and no amateur radio SWL-reception reports after 1960. (Collections of material sent to SWLs/BCLs will, of course, be accepted.)


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