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Old copies of OAG / ABC flight timetables

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Old copies of OAG / ABC flight timetables

Old 27th Jul 2022, 00:46
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Old copies of OAG / ABC flight timetables

The OAG / ABC flight timetable has been published monthly in various forms since the 1970s by various publishers.
I'm trying to locate old copies (eg 1990s or 2000s) of it, preferably in London. I would prefer to avoid OAG's historical online portal as it holds nothing before 2004 and is targetted at companies with money to burn

I've trawled at length through the British Library's catalogue, summoning many different issues from their warehouses... only to get a "Sorry, item not held" response many times. I'm aware libraries in Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Aberystwyth and Dublin have some back issues... but despite online records data, verbal phonecalls to these libraries suggests they are rather patchy in coverage. Essentially the law around Legal Book Deposit has not been followed

Does anyone know where in the UK has a (largely) complete set of back issues that can be consulted on a non-commercial no-reproduction basis ?
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Old 27th Jul 2022, 07:34
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Brings back memories - I used to have a huge stack of OAGs in the garage, inherited from my then day job. As well as their obvious use in planning trips, they were invaluable in pre-Internet days for reverse-engineering a target airline's route network and working out aircraft and crew utilisation.

When they threatened to prevent the car getting into the garage, I was told in no uncertain terms that they had to go ...
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Old 27th Jul 2022, 07:41
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Brings back memories - I used to have a huge stack of OAGs in the garage, inherited from my then day job. As well as their obvious use in planning trips, they were invaluable in pre-Internet days for reverse-engineering a target airline's route network and working out aircraft and crew utilisation.

When they threatened to prevent the car getting into the garage, I was told in no uncertain terms that they had to go ...
If anybody in the UK has a stack of old copies (be it worldwide or just a single region of the world) that are in good condition and potentially going to be thrown away... the British Library would like to hear from you and possibly pay money for these old issues where it helps fill gaps in their collection
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Old 27th Jul 2022, 07:45
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If it was published in the UK the British Library has two copies automatically I think - and the Bodleian gets one as well
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Old 27th Jul 2022, 07:57
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
If it was published in the UK the British Library has two copies automatically I think - and the Bodleian gets one as well
The British Library *should* receive a copy for free from the publisher. Publishers sometimes regard doing so as non-commercial and giving away money for free, don't understand why they should do this or just don't think the law applies in their case. Equally the British Library doesn't have the resources to chase every single publisher and potentially prosecute for not sending a copy. The result is that the British Library, along with deposit libraries in Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Aberystwyth and Dublin all have significant gaps in their collection of old issues of the OAG timetables
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Old 27th Jul 2022, 08:18
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I have seen the old 'ABC' books for sale at very reasonable prices at the aerojumbles around the country. Unfortunately, the LGW one was two months ago, but I have always seen them there.
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Old 27th Jul 2022, 10:26
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The ABC guide goes back long before the 70'.s.
They once did a reprint of a 1946 issue and I have that.
Same as DaveReid I also had a collection of ABC's which had to go during a house move.
I did keep a 1956 ABC and a 1961 OAG.
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Old 10th Aug 2022, 14:20
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The CAA Library at Aviation House, Gatwick certainly had snapshots (I think it was one edition every two years) starting back in the 1950s of the first OAG guides including the larger telephone-directory style Red and Blue books through the 70s and 80s. The library used to be freely open to the general public and you could just take them off the shelves and take them to a library desk to read at leisure. The library was then part of the re-hack of the downstairs area of Aviation House some years later and I don't know if it is still there, but I'd have to believe that the CAA haven't binned all of this stuff. At least, I hope not. May be worthwhile calling via the switchboard to be put through to the Library and see what happens!
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Old 10th Aug 2022, 17:09
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Always on EBay….but rather silly money asked for them!
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Old 13th Aug 2022, 19:33
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The CAA library used to have May & Nov ABC guides - I spent a day there looking at at Pan Am's transtantic scheules from the start of the jet age until its demise. I don't know if it is still open - it would be worth giving them a ring.

The British Library has most versions although you have to order each issue you want at least 48 hours in advance & they truck it down from Boston Spa. In fact I was looking at the June 1977 ABC for some research I was doing today. You have to go to the reading rooms at Kings X or Boston Spa.

Their website is Explore the British Library (bl.uk)

Just type in ABC world airways guide & select holdings. Alternatively give them a ring on 01937 546060.
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Old 14th Aug 2022, 17:14
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I've checked the catalogue and there are some missing issues. The system may incorrectly say that an item is available even if it is missing. The enquiry desk may be able to help. Its not helped by there being two shelfmarks.
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