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QSL Collection Report

Date : 01 / 03 / 2015
Author : Fred Swainston - VK3DAC

During 2015 some major work has been carried out to tidy up the WIA Bayswater factory space behind the WIA Office. This work included the QSL collection area. The WIA, thanks to the work of Ken Matchett VK3TL - Silent Key, has the 2nd largest historic QSL collection in the world. This is a collection of QSL cards that have been donated by Radio Amateurs and Short-Wave Listeners from both Australia and overseas, the aim of which is to preserve the history of Amateur Radio. QSL cards also have an archival value in that old QSLs, through their description of radio equipment and comments made by our Radio Amateurs, can depict the fascinating world of amateur radio in its early days.

Members of the WIA have reason to be proud of their WIA QSL Collection, as it contains some of the rarest archival material in the world. The QSL of Reinhartz 1XAM of the USA, and De Loy of France is in the collection. It was this amateur radio transmission between these two experimenters in November 1923 that bridged the Atlantic for the first time. The QSLs of Frank Bell Z4AA and Cecil Goyder G2SZ are also in the collection. These experimenters made the first two-way amateur radio contact between New Zealand and England in 1924.

The Collection has also an excellent range of post WW1 QSLs such as rare DX, IOTA, DOK, Prefix and USA County QSLs, in addition to a thematic collection and a pictorial collection containing some of the World’s most attractively designed QSLs.

Extensive discussions with Wolf Harranth, OE1WHC, DOCUMENTARY ARCHIVE RADIO COMMUNICATIONS in Austria have taken place. Wolf had provided to the WIA approximately 50,000 QSL cards which have been integrated into our collection. These cards filled gaps in the WIA’s collection. Wolf and his research team provide a service to Amateur Radio by documenting historic aspects of both amateur and commercial radio operations. The Austrian collection of QSL cards is the largest repository for historic QSL cards in the world. The WIA has links to this group and continues to provide them with important historic Amateur Radio information.

The WIA Board are currently seeking a permanent curator for the historic QSL Collection and will be seeking expressions of interest as soon as the factory tidy up is completed.



 

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