BT Archives

Man using a candlestick telephone K4 Vermillion Giant telephone kiosk

BT Archives preserves the historical information of British Telecommunications plc and its predecessors from the early part of the nineteenth century up to the present day, effectively the history of telecommunications services in the United Kingdom and from the UK to overseas.

Records produced before the date of privatisation are classed as public records under the Public Records Acts, 1958 and 1967. BT Archives undertakes the company's statutory responsibilities under these acts to preserve and make available public records to members of the public after 30 years, and for purpose has been appointed an "official place of deposit for public records" by the Lord Chancellor. BT Archives is also approved by The National Archives National Advisory Services as meeting their standard for archives repositories.

BT Archives also acts as the corporate memory for the BT Group of companies; vital historical information is preserved and made available where appropriate to aid BT's performance, raise the company profile and support BT as one of the world's leading providers of telecommunications services.

Access information

BT Archives has been located in its purpose built repository in Holborn Telephone Exchange since July 1997. This facility reflects BT's commitment to preserving and giving access to its unique and priceless archival collections.

The public search room is open every Tuesday and Thursday, 10.00am - 4.00pm except for public holidays and on occasions when scheduled events are occurring (see dates below). There is limited seating in the search room and visitors arriving without an appointment may not be admitted.

Book an appointment by e-mailing

Customers should note that we cannot undertake research on their behalf. 

Important security information for visitors: First-time visitors must bring with them photographic and suitable proof of address identification. We regret that visitors unable to meet these conditions cannot be admitted.

Scheduled search room closures for 2014:

  • Christmas and New Year closure: We will be closed from Tuesday 23rd December and will re-open on Tuesday 6th January 2015.


Location map


BT Archives
Third Floor
Holborn Telephone Exchange
268-270 High Holborn

Helpdesk: (+44) 020 7440 4220
Fax: (+44) 020 7242 1967

Getting there

British Rail: City Thameslink (Holborn Viaduct entrance)

Underground: Holborn (Piccadilly and Central Lines), Chancery Lane(Central line) or Farringdon (Circle or District Lines)

Bus routes: (High Holborn) 8, 242, 25, 501, 521 (Holborn Kingsway) 1, 68, 91, 168, 171, 188, 501, 505, 521, X68

By car: NCP Car Parks at: Holborn, Museum St WC1; Brunswick Square WC1; Russell Court, Woburn Place WC1; Caxton House, Cowcross St, EC1; Cardinal House, Cowcross St, EC1; Bloomsbury Square Car Park, WC1