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Linger in the Prelinger

September 3, 2012

I recently visited a most amazing library in San Francisco. It is called the Prelinger Library. The Library was founded and built by Rick Prelinger and Megan Shaw Prelinger.  The library contains a collection of interesting material that as they say themselves falls between academic and public library.  I was particularly interested in their material on radio communications. Among their collection they also had some old Bell Labs Journals. I was really struck by the fact they contained fantastic information as well as being beautiful to look at. What ever happened to that approach to technical material? In fact a lot of the material at Prelinger has that kind of design bias which made it very interesting.  The Prelinger partners with the Internet Archive and provide material for that archive. They for example uploaded my favourite film- A Communications Primer to the Archive. Megan Prelinger has written an article here about building the library.


  1. Linda, when I moved to Prague, I sold Rick Prelinger my collection of books dealing with the history of radio, telephony, telegraphy and broadcasting. It included alot of extremely rare and valuable items, as you seem to have noticed.

  2. That is amazing Bob. I found loads of the radio and broadcasting material fascinating and really wished I had more time there. They have a really open attitude and you can copy the books and they try digitise material themselves. It is a very unusual and interesting place. I am not surprised you would have had books worth buying.

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