BT Archives is only open to pre-booked visits on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Please contact to reserve your place - spaces are limited so please book as early as you can. Note that we sometimes need to schedule closures on certain dates.


We open between 10:00 and 16:00 with a closure for lunch between 12:30-13:30.

On arrival

  • Let us know you've arrived using the BT Archives button on the intercom outside the building. We will come and collect you
  • Have your photographic and address identification ready
  • Before starting your research we'll ask you to complete a short visitor record form

Finding what you want

Our research material is broadly divided into three categories; the telecommunications reference library (printed sources), Archives (original source documents) and visual media (photographs, films and videos).

Reference library

Journals, reference books and other printed sources can be searched using the BT Digital Archives.


Documents open for public inspection are searchable in the BT Digital Archives

Some documents are uncatalogued or in a fragile condition. We reserve the right to withhold these.

Photographic, film and video collections

Our photographic collection has around half a million images covering telecommunications themes dating back to the last century.

Not all our photographs and films are catalogued and online. However, our two primary photographic series are available in the BT Digital Archives and a large selection of films, dating from the 1930s to 2010, can be viewed in our film archive.

Ordering what you want

We have two retrieval slots per day, one in the morning and one afternoon.

You can order a maximum of 10 items in the morning and 10 in the afternoon.

Orders for the morning must be placed by 12:00 the day before your appointment by emailing .

Orders for the afternoon must be made by 10:30 on the day.

If it’s your first visit and you’d like some help using the catalogue to select what you want, then just let us know. We’ll help you when you arrive, and you don’t need to place your order the day before.

Some do's and don'ts

Our documents are mostly unique and irreplaceable. To make sure they survive for future researchers we ask you to follow these guidelines:

  • Do use the free lockers to secure your belongings
  • Do only use pencil to make notes
  • Do feel free to take photographs for personal research purposes, but no flash please.
  • Do return documents and files in the exact order they were produced
  • Do use the available support cushions for large books or for volumes with weak spines
  • Don't eat or drink in the search room
  • Don't mark the documents in any way
  • Don't lean on documents or open volumes, or rest on them to write notes
  • Don't stack open volumes on top of each another
  • Don't attempt to take documents out of the search room

Photocopies, photographs, scans and publication