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Old electronic data books

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Noone, Aug 19, 2005.

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  1. Noone

    Noone Guest

    Moving to a new office. So the 15 years of accumulated treasure must be
    sorted and packed.

    I am at a loss about what to do with 56+ boxes of old electronic data
    books. Some of these go way back. Nearly all are pre CD era. Full
    sets of Intel, Motorola, TI, National, (even a 1972 analog applicatons
    book), Philips. Many shelves worth of smaller company products. Then
    there is a nearly equal number of hardcover technical books, but those
    stay. And a full collection of Byte magazines: #1 to end.

    Then there is my 1 year rule: If you haven't used it in a year then get
    rid of it. (albeit with a one time 1 year reprieve). Applying this
    rule, then nearly everything goes. But they have lived in a very
    comprehensive library for a long time And that is the purpose of a
    library. So I am torn: Pitch or Keep.

    Or can I find a good home for these somewhere? They are incredibly
    useful when working on/restoring older equipment. They would be a good
    addition to a technical museum somewhere. Shipping costs would be high
    however. Anyone with any experience moving these on eBay?

    Ideas, suggestions encouraged.

  2. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Donate them to a university/college/tech-school library? As part of the
    deal, they might be willing to spring for a professional appraisal (for
    tax purposes).
  3. Since your new office is bound to be vastly larger, you don't really
    *need* to throw anything out, right? ;-)
    I do it a bit differently. After I have not used a book in a year or
    two it leaves the office and goes to the "stacks", where space will
    never be an issue. Most periodicals are dumped after a few months. A
    few* are kept. Real non-fiction books seldom get thrown out unless
    they are dedicated to some particular software application etc.
    Take a careful look at application notes and detailed data sheets for
    the pre-internet era before dumping them all. After about 1995 or so,
    nothing much of that sort is worth keeping, but much of the early
    stuff may never be put in electronic form, and much of it is still
    relevant, albeit perhaps requiring an update to more modern parts.

    Obsolete books filled with run-of-the-mill chips and ASICs from
    defunct companies are probably the least useful to you, though someone
    in need of them might be desperate.
    Shipping costs would probably dissuade most buyers, but check
    completed auctions to see. Maybe there are companies who will buy the
    stuff to scan and sell the information to others.

    OTOH, those Byte magazines are probably worth something!
    * Circuit Cellar, Dr. Dobbs (only issues of those two that I buy at
    the newstand), Foreign Affairs (subscription), recent directory issues
    of about a dozen trade magazines etc.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  4. mw

    mw Guest

    Rent a table at the next big hamfest... $15 or so. Visit with all the
    old timers that walk by and ex-co-workers you haven't seen in years.
    Maybe even sell a few of the books...
  5. mc

    mc Guest

    Consult a nearby library for advice on how to sell the complete set of Byte.
    It's something a college library would surely like to have.

    Some of the old National manuals (especially the linear IC manual of the
    late 1970s and the linear applications handbook) are worth KEEPING or
    selling. Those chips (555, 741, 7805, LM386, etc.) are classics still in
  6. mc

    mc Guest

    BTW, if I had to guess, a full set of Byte, in good condition, is probably
    worth $500.
  7. me

    me Guest

    I am at a loss about what to do with 56+ boxes of old electronic data
    off hand, BS and FO. Shut up and stuff it all in boxes or offer it
    outright somewhere.
  8. Wim Ton

    Wim Ton Guest

    I sold several old databooks on eBay. You wont get an awful lot of money for
    them (about $5), but it feels good that can help out some people with them.

  9. Dave

    Dave Guest

    You could try a VERY different sort of eBay auction, something like this:

    Buy-it-now $10
    Quantity available 100.

    "I have a load of manuals, application notes, catalogues etc, too
    numerous to list individually and too expensive to ship. If however you
    need something, such as an old catalog, data sheet, contact me by email
    and I'll search to see if I have what you want. If I do, you "buy it
    now" on eBay and I'll ship it. If I don't, then you there is no need to
    "buy it now".

    That way

    1) You don't have to bother listing everything - just general terms.
    2) People don't end up with as much junk as you.
    3) Shipping is only paid on what people actually want.
    4) You toss whatever nobody wants.

    How is that for an idea????

    You could add an entry at

    but only if you willing to give away the items, not if you wish to sell
    them. Or take a look at the list of things people want.

    I run that site, and whilst it is not normally the aim, in this case I
    will allow such a listing.
  10. Ben Bradley

    Ben Bradley Guest

    If you have to 'toss' anything, at least donate it to the nearest
    thrift store, who will sell paperbacks for $0.25 and hardbacks for $1
    or so, to scroungers like me. It's where I get all my copies of
    "Spring Designer's Handbook" (okay, I've only had one copy) and other
    such esoteric books, and sell them on for what the market
    will bear.
    The earlier National app note book(s) (at least the one with a lot
    of Bob Pease articles in it) it was reprinted by Old Colony a few
    years back.
    Towards the end, what I saw of Byte was much like any other
    consumer computer magazine, but the first 10-15 years should really be
    worth something to someone.

    It's inevitable that someone will need to look at an old design,
    and need an old data sheet on an obsolete part by an out-of-business
    manufacturer. I'm sure there are many copies of these out there, but
    still, they're hard to find - they're on an office shelf like yours,
    or in a box in a warehouse, as opposed to in booksellers' inventories
    easily searchable from a site such as
  11. Guest

    I was in the local used bookstore the other day and they had a
    surprising number of miscellaneous older data books lurking around the
    electrical engineering shelf. I would assume they don't pay much for
    these - they're not like popular novels with a price on the cover that
    they can offer half of, or whatever. You might check with the used
    bookstores in your area.
    In the US, you might be able to do media mail, what used to be called
    book rate, which is reasonably cheap.

    Matt Roberds
  12. Noone

    Noone Guest

    Thanks to all who replied. The books will make the move. Then their
    fate will be determined. Too much futzing around to sell, either all or
    in pieces. We will offer them to the local technical college and/or
    University. My bet is on the techies. I suspect this stuff is much too
    practical for the University.

  13. Doug

    Doug Guest

    Could take them to your local Good will and ask them to put them on
    their book site.
    Maybe you could use the deduction.
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