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 this purpose has been appointed an "official place of deposit for public records" by the Lord Chancellor.
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.
Information and access
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.
In addition to being a place of deposit for public records, BT Archives is also approved by The National Archives National Advisory Services as meeting their standard for archives repositories.
The public search room is open Tuesday and Thursday, 10.00am - 4.00pm all year round except for public holidays and on occasions when scheduled events are occurring. The search room has a limited number of seats and visitors arriving without an appointment may not be admitted.
Customers are asked to note that we cannot undertake research on their behalf.
Appointments may be made by e-mailing email@example.com.
Important security information for visitors: First-time visitors are required to bring with them photographic and suitable proof of address identification. This also applies to customers who have visited us before the introduction of these arrangements. We regret that visitors unable to meet these conditions cannot be admitted.
New Connections: the BT e-Archive
In January 2012 BT Archives, Coventry University and The National Archives launched New Connections - a JISC funded project to digitise 500,000 items from the history of communications.
During this project (due for completion in July 2013) access to some BT Archives items will necessarily be restricted on occasion.
Please contact us in advance of your visit to ensure records are available for your research visit.
Find out more about New Connections at www.coventry.ac.uk/newconnections
Holborn Telephone Exchange
268-270 High Holborn
LONDON WC1V 7EE
Helpdesk: (+44) 020 7440 4220
Fax: (+44) 020 7242 1967
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