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BT Archives

We're in it together' Post Office Public Relations poster

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.

Visiting us

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.

Opening days: Our public search room is open on Mondays and Tuesdays, 10.00am - 4.00pm except for public holidays and on occasions when scheduled events are occurring (see scheduled closures below).

The search room has limited seating and we cannot guarantee admission without an appointment. To avoid disappointment please book in advance by e-mailing

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

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

Scheduled search room closures for 2015/16:

  • Important information: extensive building works are taking place in Holborn Telephone Exchange between October 2015 and March 2016. While every effort will be taken to minimise the impact for customers these works will disrupt access to the Archives, restrict our opening hours and require periods of closure until completed. Details of service disruptions will be notified here as they become available
  • Boxing Day bank holiday 28th December


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