The BT Digital Archives

Online Resource
  • Administered by
  • Reference
      GB 1814 thebtdigitalarchives
  • Dates of Creation
      19th Century
      20th Century (1900 - 1945)
      20th Century (1946 - 1999)
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
  • Digital Content
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Scope and Content

The BT Digital Archives are recognised by Arts Council England and UNESCO as being of UK and international significance.

The collection documents the role that British Telecom and its predecessors have played in rolling out local, national and global communications.

The collection includes records, photographs and film dating back as far as 1846, when the UK's Electric Telegraph Company was formed. The development of the telegraph and the telephone are documented, alongside major recent milestones - such as communications satellites and fibre optic cables.

Over half a million photographs, documents and other digitised artefacts are available to users of this collection, which has been developed for academic study and wider use by the general public.

Access Information

Unless otherwise stated, content within this collection is licensed under Creative Commons.


This is a description of an Online Resource. Online Resources are websites that describe, interpret and provide access to archives. They often provide access to digital content but they may also describe physical materials. They usually cover a theme or topic, such as an individual, a movement, or an important historical event.

Other Finding Aids

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A Jisc funded digitisation initiative. Publisher: BT Heritage & Coventry University

Additional Information

Case studies are available on the subject areas of computing; problem-based learning scenarios; design; and correspondence & linguistics.

It is hoped that other disciplines will also find value in the archives, including engineering; social and economic history; business studies; sociology; and education studies.

Registered users can log in and collate research lists. All users can search the archives and examples of available material can be viewed in the ‘Mosaics’ section of the site.