BT archive digitised

Digitised archive covers over 150 years of telecommunications history.

The BT archive contains photographs, reports and other items dating back to 1846 documenting the role of Britain in the development of telecommunications.  BT, Coventry University and the National Archives collaborated to work on the Jisc-funded project.  The archive has been recognised by Arts Council England and UNESCO as being of international importance. 

The archive is freely available to users around the world under a Creative Commons licence.

Highlights of the archive include

  • An 1877 letter from 1877 written by Alexander Graham Bell's agent to the British government offering Bell’s telephone (the government declined the offer)
  • Photographs of Britain’s first telephone kiosks – and records of the public’s reaction
  • Picture records of the advent of the world’s first emergency call service, 999.

Source: Jisc website.