Old Amateur Radio
Call Books
1906 -1997

Some ARRL Handbooks
National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting  West Chester Amateur Radio Assn. (USA-Ohio)

Instructions: Click on the month or season to download. Be patient! Many files are large, some near 1 GB.

Most are searchable depending of quality of OCR.

OCR can often confuse an 8 for a B, a 0 for an O, an i for an L or 1 and other similarities. If your search is unsuccessful try substituting a look-a-like.

A search for partial calls can be successful.

Viewing works best by downloading the file and viewing in a PDF reader like
Adobe Reader.

Viewing using your browser may not work well because of the large file size. 

Sources  

73 - Lee - K8CLI  Email

 

1906 Oct Link   1953 Fall 305 MB
1909 May 3 MB from Wireless Electronics   1954 Spring 200 MB
1909 May 11 MB, Wireless Bluebook, 4th Annual   1955 Fall 145 MB
1910 May 12 MB   1956 Spring 165 MB
1911 May 3.0 MB   1957 Fall 330 MB
1912 Note 1 Not  available   1958 Summer 840 MB
1913 May 13  MB     1959 Spring 460 MB, USA
1914

May 12  MB   1959 Spring 300 MB, Foreign Only
1914 July 43  MB     1960 Winter 220 MB
1915 July 43  MB     1961 Fall 705 MB
1916 July 117 MB   1962 Fall 475 MB, USA
1917
1918
1919
Note 2 Not  available   1962 Winter 305 MB, USA + Foreign
1919 Dec 03 MB   1963 Summer 270 MB
1920

June 20 MB     1964 Fall 580 MB
1921 June 100 MB   1965 Summer 255 MB USA + Foreign
1922 May 35 MB     1966 Spring 750 MB
1922 June 175 MB   1967 Fall 295 MB
1922 November 25  MB     1968 Spring 990 MB
1923 June 50  MB     1968 Summer 1.1 GB
1923 May    Nov 40  MB     1968 Winter 1.0 GB
1924 May 07  MB     1969 Fall 910 MB USA + Foreign
1924

June 70  MB    1970 Spring 300 MB
1925 Summer 65  MB    1971 Fall 295 MB
1926 Annual 30  MB    1972 Winter 310 MB USA + Foreign
1926 June 85  MB    1973 Winter 520 MB
1927 June 60  MB    1974 Winter 1.0 GB
1927 June 165 MB   1975 Winter 830 MB
1928 September 107 MB   1976 Winter 1.3 GB
1928 June 275 MB   1977 Winter 325 MB
1929

June 70   MB    1978 Winter 480 MB USA
1930 June 445 MB    1979 Winter (0-4)
Winter (5-9)
760 MB
790 MB
1931 June 280 MB   1980 Winter 450 MB
1932 Fall 84 MB   1981 Winter 505 MB
1933 Spring 190 MB   1982 Winter 460 MB
1934 Fall   90 MB   1983 Winter 295 MB
1935 Spring 100  MB   1984 Winter 470 MB
1936 Spring   70 MB   1985 Winter 460 MB
1937

Fall 145 MB   1986 Winter 520 MB
1938 Spring   70  MB   1987 Winter 1.4  GB
1939 Spring 200 MB   1988 Winter 520 MB USA + Foreign
1940 Spring  60  MB   1989 Winter 540 MB
1941 Spring 340 MB
225 MB
  1990 Winter 1.4  GB
1941
1942
Winter 108 MB   1991 Winter 560 MB
1943
1944
1945
Note 3 Not Available   1992 Winter 610 MB USA + Foreign
1946

Summer 125 MB   1993 Winter 650 MB
1947 Fall 265 MB   1994 Winter 1.2 GB
1948 Fall 145 MB   1995 Winter 760 MB USA + Foreign, Vol. 73
1949 Summer 195 MB, USA   1996 Winter 800 MB
1949 Summer 135 MB, Foreign Only   1997 Annual 860 MB
1950 Summer 555 MB         
1951 Spring 110 MB        
1952

Fall 765 MB        

Online ARRL Amateur Radio Handbooks

1931   58 MB 1976  90 MB
1936   37 MB 1977 137 MB
1941   78 MB 1981 57 MB
1968   49 MB 1985 Link Only
1974   43 MB    

Hard copy ARRL Handbooks
at the Museum:

- - - 1941 1951 1961 1971
1932 1942* - - - 1962 1972
1933 1943 1953 1963 1973
1934 1944 1954 1964 1974
1935 1945 1955 1965 1975
1936 1946 1956 1966 1976
1937 1947 1957 1967 1977
1938 1948 1958 1968 1978
1939 1949 - - - 1969 - - -
1940 1950 1960 1970 - - -
*  Regular and Defense

Hard Copy Bounded QST at the Museum

1917 1928 1944 1964
1919 1930 1948 1969
1920 1932 1950  
1921 1934 1951  
1922 1935 1953  
1923 1936 1955  
1924 1937 1957  
1925 1938 1959  
1926 1940 1962  

Note 1: Amateur radio licensing began in 1912 and required 5 WPM code. The Bureau of Navigation, a division of the Department of Commerce, regulated United States radio until the 1927 formation of the FRC (Federal Radio Commission). In 1934 the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) succeeded the FRC.

Note 2: Amateur Radio was shut down for the duration of World War I and the Department of Commerce cancelled all amateur licenses. Consequently hams lost their call signs that were issued just a few years earlier. After the war amateurs were relicensed with new call signs rather than their previously held call signs.

Note 3: Amateur Radio was shut down on December 7, 1941 because of WWII as it was in other countries of the world for the duration of the conflict.

Sources

Most call books are from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine and consolidated into one document for ease of searching. Sources include the Wireless Blue Book of the Wireless Association of America, Amateur Radio Stations-US Commerce Department (Radio Division) and Radio Amateur Call Book Magazine.

U.S. Amateur Radio Call Sign Lookups from University of Arkansas at Little Rock   (Mirrors FCC Database) An Overview of Amateur Call Signs Past and Present
By: Phil Sager WB4FDT and Rick Palm K1CE, QST, May 1994

History of Amateur Radio License Changes (1912-2006) by: Tom Hashem, KA1F

How to Find Old Amateur Radio Call Signs by Richard P. Clem, W0IS

Early Radio History by Thomas H. White

1960-1997  by W3HF, Steve Melachrinos, 2007

Foot note: This listing began from necessity.
I am with the National VOA Museum of Broadcasting and we have a huge archives. Often items are donated by hams. Consequently, we need to determine details about the donor using their call sign and it became a nuisance to locate accurate information about an amateur radio call sign. Assembling this list has been a big help to me and other archivists at the museum.

BTW, if you ever get to Cincinnati stop in and see us. See the website for hours of operation. Let me know you're coming and I will try to be there to explain some of the exhibits and you can walk inside the Collins 821-A 250 kW transmitter.
73, Lee, K8CLI, Email