RCA product informationCreation: 1904-1994
The Radio Corporation of America (renamed RCA Corporation in 1969) was best known for its pioneering radio and television development and manufacturing. In addition to consumer electronics, RCA was a major player in the development of electronics for industrial and military applications. The collection contains extensive documentation of RCA’s consumer and industrial products and components. Files include manuals, technical data, advertisements, technical bulletins, catalogs, and training materials.
- Creation: 1904-1994
- RCA Corporation (Organization)
22 Linear Feet
The Radio Corporation of America (renamed RCA Corporation in 1969) was best known for its pioneering radio and television development and manufacturing. In addition to consumer electronics, RCA was a major player in the development of electronics for industrial and military applications. It was also prominent in radio and television broadcasting, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, NBC. Originally created in 1919 as a government sponsored radio monopoly, RCA operated until 1986, when it was acquired by GE and broken up.
For more information, see the historical note for accession 2069, RCA Corporation records: http://findingaids.hagley.org/xtf/view?docId=ead/2069.xml
The collection is arranged in three series:
I. Numbered files
II. Service data
Files are arranged alphabetically.
Scope and Content
This collection contains extensive documentation of RCA’s consumer and industrial products, such as radios, televisions, microscopes, record and video players, test equipment, and phonograph records; and RCA’s components, such as transistors, semiconductors, integrated circuits, computer processors, and tubes. Files include manuals, technical data, advertisements, technical bulletins, catalogs, and training materials.
Numbered files series contains items that RCA assigned unique identifiers to. Most of the item designators had no inherent meaning. However, a few important ones did, notably IB (instruction book), AN (application note), and ICAN (integrated circuits application note). Worth highlighting is SPD-100, an extensive collection of technical data on components which is supplemented by the SSD series of databooks.
Service data series or RCA published service data (originally called service notes) in order to provide technical information to companies and individuals who serviced RCA consumer products. In addition to technical specifications and diagrams, the data included installation, maintenance, and operating instructions, as well as parts listings and other important information.
The service data primarily, but not exclusively, covers televisions, radios, and phonograph players. It is a particularly valuable resource for collectors of antique consumer electronics.
Existence and Location of Copies
View selected items online in the Hagley Digital Archives.
No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.
Language of Materials
In 2009, along with the rest of the archival collections of the David Sarnoff Library, the RCA product information collection was donated to the Hagley Museum and Library.
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- RCA product information
- Daniel Michelson
- Description rules:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description:
- Script of description:
- The collection was processed with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant.