Formal education for vacuum tube technology is long gone. Now the repository for such information resides with old timers, the periodicals of the past, a number of books published in recent years, and antique radio clubs. Radio clubs members include hobbyists, collectors and folks with technical experience, all with a variety of skills and interests. These members are a resource for advice, parts and vacuum tubes.
The Antique Radio Forum http://antiqueradios.com/forums/ has a number of topical categories with a variety threads each with frequent dialogs on numerous topics. Well worth monitoring.
For vintage radio periodicals, in the Early Radio category: http://americanradiohistory.com/index.htm#Early
Has images of entire magazines. Of note: Radio News, Radio Craft, Citizen’s Radio Callbook and Radio Broadcast. Valuable years are from about 1925 to 1937 or so. A bit cumbersome to use, but valuable not only for the articles, but also for the advertising which picture and often explain operation and use or parts as the industry developed. Browsing these magazine images may spark interest in purchasing issues that appear at auctions and radio swap meets.
Some larger radio clubs produce newsletters for members, with worthwhile content whether or not you attend their meetings and events, such as:
Mid-Atlantic Antique Radio Club http://www.maarc.org/
Indiana Historical Radio Society http://www.indianahistoricalradio.org/
Antique Wireless Association http://www.antiquewireless.org/
Sources for tubes, reproduction dials, parts, and books include:
Radio Daze http://www.radiodaze.com/
Antique Radio Supply http://www.tubesandmore.com/
Renovated Radios http://www.renovatedradios.com/parts.html
Oppat’s radio parts http://www.oldradioparts.net/testimonials.html
Phil’s Old Radios http://antiqueradio.org/welcome.htm
The above resources just scratch the surface. Look for links to other sites. Bookmark what you find of interest to you.