British Telecom Digital Archives

BT (British Telecom) is the world’s oldest communications company. Its roots extend back to the UK’s Electrics Telegraph Company, incorporated in 1846 as the world’s first nationwide communications enterprise. Working in partnership with Coventry University and the National Archives, with funding from JISC, a significant element of BT’s archives has been digitized and made available online through this website.

BT’s overall collection, assembled over 165 years, includes records, photographs and films of BT itself, records of the Post Office telecommunications function, and of the private telephone and telegraph companies taken over by the Post Office in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They document the development of the UK communications infrastructure and services to overseas from their earliest days, and major milestones such as the development of transatlantic communications from the earliest telegraph service to satellites and fibre optic cables.

On this website about 45.000 photographs and pictures from ca.1865-1982 can be found, 190.000 pages from over 13.500 research reports from 1878-1981, and 230.000 documents from over 550 policy and operational files from 1851-1983.

The archive can be searched by finding number or keyword. Both basic and advanced search in the entire catalogue are possible. By selecting ‘has attached image’, only digitized items will be searched. Images are accompanied by metadata, and can be downloaded in JPEG format.

Last update

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 - 3:25pm
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