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Historic phone book archive goes online

Historic phone book archive goes online

BT and Ancestry.co.uk put 100 years of phone books on the web
Matt Chapman, vnunet.com 21 Sep 2006

BT and genealogy website Ancestry.co.uk have launched an online collection of British phone books dating from 1880 to 1984.

Members of Ancestry.co.uk can search the British phone books using name, year and county and the two companies said the service would be a useful addition to traditional genealogy sources.

The first records to be launched online are the phone books for Greater London, which reveal insights into the social history of the past 100 years.

They include numbers for famous people and addresses, such as Bram Stoker (Victoria 1436), Buckingham Palace (Victoria 6913) and Laurence Olivier (Kensington 6505).

"Since their introduction in 1880, phone books have provided a unique snapshot of communities in Britain in a regular and familiar format, making them an ideal source for family and social historians," said David Hay, head of heritage at BT Archives.

The British phone books from 1880 to 1984 contain in excess of 250 million names. BT maintains its collection of phone books as public records stretching up to the company's privatisation in 1984.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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