I have what seems to be at least several year's worth of PC Magazine from the 1990s. Before I toss these in recycling I was wondering if someone, somewhere, would find any use for these. I doubt a local library would be interested, but perhaps for some kind of vintage collection or scholarship purposes?

For example the Feb 20, 1996, cover headline was:

Pentium or Pro? PC Labs Tests 46 of the Newest And Fastest Desktop Systems ... 150 MHz ... 166 MHz ... 200 MHz...

I don't know if these issues would be hard to come by but I doubt they are especially rare. However this was almost certainly before they could have been distributed digitally and I don't know if they were ever digitized later. They are physically in decent condition.

Note - this is not a sales pitch. I'm genuinely looking to promote "reuse" before "recycle".

  • 1
    As someone who occassionally browses completely obsolete prints on Bitsavers and Archive.org, I don't think there needs to be a "use" in order for them to be preserved...
    – grawity
    Apr 13, 2020 at 13:32
  • @user1686 fair point; I chose that word because asking "any value" seemed to convey the wrong idea. But I'll consider how to reword. Apr 13, 2020 at 13:37
  • PC mags? No. I just threw out the ones I had. PC's of that vintage and later are just too boring! Apr 13, 2020 at 21:36
  • @TobySpeight its close except I'm not really asking about scanning them specifically. Scanning them is a possibility, but my own preference would be to preserve them in original condition. Jun 5, 2021 at 11:55
  • @TobySpeight I do not think this is a duplicate. This question does not explicitly mention donating the magazines. Jun 6, 2021 at 1:25

4 Answers 4


The issues you have are most likely neither rare nor valuable. But they could be, given the right collector. A simple approach is to offer the lot in an eBay auction starting at $1. Most of these auctions find some takers. I wouldn't expect much, and would consider it as a convenient way of making a donation to a collector or archivist.

The Internet Archive is an online Library that specializes in archiving these types of magazines. If you do a search there, then you might find the exact issues already exist, having most likely been scanned in by an amateur, volunteer, archivist. So, if your attitude is that you'd like to see the information preserved for future generations, then that's why this Library exists.

So, best outcome, is someone takes it off your hands at no cost to you, and then does the work to scan and preserve them online for posterity.

  • Good thought to use ebay just to find someone interested, not for profiting specifically. I'll consider that. I looked through the archive (it was a little hard to search) but didn't find much for these magazines. But I certainly can't take the time to digitize them myself. Apr 13, 2020 at 21:17
  • There will definitely be people interested. I'm still sore at my father for throwing out three big Rubbermaid bins of old PC Worlds, PC Magazines, 3com catalogues, Inmac catalogues, etc. that I was storing in his garage without asking if I wanted them back. Just shows his attitude toward other people. (At least my old Home Computing & Entertainment and Nintendo Power magazines and my APC Power Protection Handbook were stored separately.)
    – ssokolow
    Apr 13, 2020 at 21:53

I don't know for PC, but Amiga magazines were scanned and published under various sites. The most known is http://amr.abime.net/

So you see, people are interested in such magazines. They often contain exclusive game tests, beta previews (with features that didn't made to the final release), corny adverts, game designer interviews, that the internet doesn't have.

Please don't throw them away until you're sure that someone has preserved them in a digital form.

  • I share the same sentiment about not destroying something potentially of value. Apr 13, 2020 at 21:17

All PC Magazine issues are available for free on Google books. See the link (https://books.google.com/books/about/PC_Mag.html?id=w_OhaFDePS4C). I used to collect them, but no longer after they became available online.

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    No, I'd say less than half of the issues are available online. Jun 4, 2021 at 4:26

A point not yet mentioned is that PC Magazine sometimes contained material--especially advertising--which would not really come across in a scan. An example I remember (I think it was PC Magazine, though I suppose it might have been Byte; I have no idea of the date though it was probably sometime around 1990) was a really cool advertisement which had a black and white picture and a pull tab; pulling the tab would cause the picture to turn into a color picture. This was accomplished by having a three-layer sandwich with a printed transparency having a black and white image on it, a blank sheet, and a color image. Pulling the tab would cause the blank sheet to be pulled out from between the transparency and the color image, thus yielding a "wipe" effect as the image changed from black and white to color (as opposed to merely having a black and white picture slide away to reveal a color image).

A scan of the magazine might include a picture of the ad (though perhaps not, since the ad may have been too thick to fit through a scanner) but wouldn't give any hint of the experience one would receive from pulling the tab.

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