This collection contains British Phone Books published between 1880, the year after the public telephone service was introduced to the UK, and 1984, from the historic phone book collection held by BT Archives. The database currently contains 1780 phone books and provides near full county coverage for England as well as containing substantial records for Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.
About Phone Books:
The largest section of the phone book, and generally the most significant for family historians, is the alphabetical listings or directory. The alphabetical listings typically contain the following details:
- Surname of person (usually the head of household) or name of business
- Exchange (up to 1968)
- Telephone Number
British Phone Books also contain an introduction of useful local and operational information. Located at the front of the book these pages may contain lists of abbreviations used, contact information for important government agencies, instructions on how to make long distance calls, explanations of the exchanges and their coverage, or other necessary information in order to use the phone book and telephone equipment. The introduction is not searchable and can only be seen by using the browse function.
Advertisements for local businesses occasionally appear at the tops and bottoms of the alphabetical listings pages, as well as on full separate pages designated as such. Advertisements cannot be searched independently but can be seen by selecting the image of the phone book following searching for a name in close alphabetical proximity or by using the browse function.