Telephone Book Links
- The Library of
Congress has this guide to searching its collection for telephone books.
Archives maintains an archive of telecommunication-related material for the United Kingdom, including
historical telephone books. This collection is also described on a Web page of the
Telecommunications Heritage Group.
- Telecommunications History Group has an
archive of historical materials, mainly related to the telephone company now known as
U S West. There is a link to a page intended to list their telephone books,
but it was under construction when I visited it. They are said to have
nearly 11,000 telephone directories published between 1890 to 1992.
- The Phone Book Library (currently under
construction), in Adelaide, South Australia, is a collection of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific phone
books. It also has a useful Links
- The Museum of Independent Telephony has some
old phone books in its collection.
- Tacoma Pioneer Telephone
Museum has some vintage phone books.
- Kansas State Historical
Society says it will list its holdings of old Kansas phone books.
- The Guildhall Library in London offers a
leaflet describing its collection of trade directories and telephone books, with
- Telephone Pioneer
Museum of New Mexico has old New Mexico phone books, and may sell duplicates.
- Fundación Telefónica, of
Spain, has some old phone books in its historical exhibit.
Utah State Historical Society has this catalogue of its collection of Utah phone
books (Adobe Acrobat format).
- A genealogist has some old Kansas phone books.
- Some genealogy sites have posted facsimiles of old telephone books.
- San Francisco Genealogy has
transcriptions or facsimiles of several old San Francisco books, including the 1878 issue, said
to be the second telephone directory published in the United States.
- Barrington, IL telephone books from 1908-1926.
- 1915 Kearney, NE telephone book.
- 1954 and 1958 Canning, NS telephone books.
- The following libraries and societies have lists of their holdings:
- Santa Cruz Public Library has a searchable index of California telephone books
- Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado
- Indiana Directories Research Service
- Pittsburg (Kansas) State Univ.
- Boston University's collection of African phone books
- Iron Range Research Center, Chisholm, Minnesota
- Nebraska State Historical Society
- Port Washington, Long Island, New York
- New York State Library
- North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina
- Olivia Raney Library, Raleigh, North Carolina
- Tennessee State Library and Archives lists its telephone book holdings
- Texas State Library
- Texas Tech University
- Wyoming State Archives
- Newfoundland and
Labrador, Canada catalogue of holdings (use Acrobat search function and search for "TELEPHONE")
- Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island has transcribed several old PEI telephone books
- Holger Pedersen has posted a list (in Danish) of old telephone books from
Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands, telling where
they can be found in libraries and collections.
- Phone books for sale on the oldtelephonebooks.com site - wide variety.
- Advice for dealers.
- eBay's listings of phone books for sale might be
Caution: some eBay listings look like telephone books for sale, but what is really being
offered is a CD-ROM with a pdf file of the contents of the book.
- TCI Photographs
(site for telephone collectors) has a few telephone books for sale as of now.
- On eBay, I wrote a market
guide to buying and selling telephone books.
Telephone Books from AbeBooks.
- The Phone Book Library sells telephone
directories for some Pacific islands.
- GoGoMag is selling some
Kansas and D.C. area telephone books.
- This eBay store sometimes has
telephone books for sale.
- Antique Telephones etc.
for sale had some telephone books for sale when I visited their site.
- Phoneco inc.'s printed catalog lists a number
of old telephone books, primarily Chicago area. Their Web site doesn't seem to mention
them, but you can always send an inquiry.
Phoneman briefly mentions phone books for sale.
- The Directory Source is Qwest's way to
let you order current telephone directories, among other things, from all over the world.
- The Directory Store is Verizon's directory
Other Ways of Finding Old Phone Books
- Cyndi's List is probably the foremost
genealogy Web site. This page discusses finding city directories and phone directories for
genealogical research. (Scroll down the page, or click on a heading under "Category Index".)
columnist compares the merits of city directories and telephone directories for genealogy.
- Tribute to the
Telephone has some hints on finding old telephone books.
The Art of the Phone Book
Phone Books in the News
- The Fine
Books blog talks about the potential demise of the white pages.
- It also
reviews Ammon Shea's history of the telephone book.
- Verizon is asking
for permission to stop delivering unwanted white-page directories to its subscribers in New York.
- The folks in Sewickley, PA weren't altogether pleased when the town was suddenly
given its own Verizon
directory, separate from the Pittsburgh telephone book.
- The India TEX Users Group has an article about the technology used to print the telephone
book for Trivandrum, Kerala.
- The Des Moines
Register has an article about the city's first phonebook, which was privately compiled
and published by a pharmacist.
Business Chronicle has an article about saving paper for Atlanta-area phone books.
- Granma, the Cuban
newspaper, tells about the new Cuban yellow pages. (In Portuguese, under the heading
ITU (International Telecommunications Union) has published a recommendation for a
standard way to write international telephone numbers, among other things. Click on
"Summary" to see a tantalizing hint that this might affect printed telephone directories.
- Here's an article about a public reading of poetry from, supposedly, the
telephone book to feature poetry.
- Picture of a North Suburban
Boston 1977 telephone book that was recalled because of a controversy. That story reminds me
that in the Los Angeles area, as the 1984 Olympics were approaching, some telephone books were
printed with an unauthorized use of Olympics logos. Pacific Telephone had to print new covers
and paste them over as many of the offending covers as they could find.
Telecom Companies and Publishers Speak for Themselves
is a Finland-based publisher of telephone directories.
- Moscow City Telephone Network tells
some of the history of the Moscow phone book.
- THS prints Latin American phone books.
- Eniro is a Swedish firm.
- Fonecta talks about Finnish books.
- Phone Directories Company publishes privately issued
telephone books, mostly for western North America.
- SEAT is a longtime publisher
of Italian classified directories.
- VNU is a leading private
publisher of telephone books in Europe.
- French speakers have looked up telephone numbers in "le bottin" for ages. The name honors Sébastien Bottin
in French), a 19th-century publisher of French commercial directories.
- Click on the Maps link (lower right) on the Telecom
New Zealand for a pop-up window showing coverage areas.
- Directories is the name of a Swiss publisher of telephone books. They have a
of Swiss telephone books, and other more ephemeral information, on their site.
part of the German telephone company, gives a few facts about its directories. (If an
error-message-looking window pops up, click "Cancel".) Their home
page is in German.
- Directories Philippines Corporation
has a wealth of information about Philippine telephone books.
- R.H. Donnelley is
perhaps the oldest publisher of classified telephone directories.
- SingTel (Singapore) offers its own and
other area telephone books for sale.
- AT&T presents its yellow page directories.
- Puerto Rico
Telephone Company talks about its earliest phone books in its company time line.
- The Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association has a beginner's
guide to telephone directories, from the publisher's viewpoint.
- "Call Me,
I'm In The Book: Early Telephone Books", by Deanna Dahlsad, on the Collectors Quest blog,
has comments on a number of telephone book topics.
- The Phone Book:
The Curious History of the Book That Everyone Uses But No One Reads, by Ammon Shea, is, as far as
I know, the first book to be devoted to the topic.
- As a telephone book collector, I never thought about turning down the ones delivered to
my home. Here's a blog
entry from someone who did.
- Wistful Vista Telephone Co.
sells fully functional vintage telephones.
- The Telephone EXchange Name Project
has a database that is supposed to let you find the old letter combinations that were dialed
until the 1960s. Another enthusiast is constructing his own version of the database at
A Historical Site.
- Robert Benchley wrote a tongue-in-cheek
review of the 1920 New York City phone book.
- Can you get a random sample of the population by picking numbers from a telephone book? Some
researchers in New Zealand investigated. Here is an
of their paper; you can read the whole paper if you register (for free).
- British Telecom tells about
numbers (ex directory).
has a few facts about telephone book history. (Warning: you will probably get pop-up
ads along with your facts.)
- Timeline of the history
of Japanese telephone books is an exhibit in the NTT Digital Museum.
- Adobe Type Library's articles about the
Bell Gothic and
Bell Centennial fonts
mention some points in the development of typefaces for telephone directories.
- Poetry in the Yellow Pages.
- Phone Books of Slovakia mapped.
Books of Finland mapped.
WA 1962 cover picture.
Last updated: October 23, 2013
Copyright © 2001-2013 by Gwillim Law.