104 years of British Phone Books launch online
Ancestry Library Edition and BT launch British Phone Books, 1880-1984 online
ANN ARBOR, Mich., September 25, 2006 - British Phone Books, 1880-1984, the contents of BT Archives' historical phone book collection on Ancestry.com, will also be available in Ancestry Library Edition, the public library version of this popular product, ProQuest Information and Learning announced today. Family history enthusiasts with ancestors who lived in England now have the opportunity via their local library to find exactly where their relatives once lived, building a more detailed picture of their family histories. Social history enthusiasts interested in the new and fast-growing exploration of "hidden house history" can begin to identify and learn about the previous inhabitants of homes.
“The British Phone Books, 1880-1984 collection is an important addition to Ancestry Library Edition’s records and provides our library customers with unique twentieth-century information which has been very difficult to find up until now,” said Chris Cowan, ProQuest vice president of publishing.
“Since their introduction in 1880, phone books have provided a unique snapshot of communities in Britain in a regular and familiar format, making them an ideal source for both family and social historians,” said David Hay, Head of Heritage, BT Archives. “BT is committed to preserving the history of telecommunications and delighted to be improving access to its heritage through this exciting venture.”
BT Archives’ collection of phone books is the most complete set of British telephone directories in existence and contains in excess of 250 million names, greater than the English, Welsh, and Scottish Census collections combined. The 430 London books alone (which include the counties of Surrey, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent and Middlesex) contain more than 72 million names. The first records to be launched are the phone books for Greater London, which reveal many interesting insights into the social history of the past hundred years.
Ancestry Library Edition users can search the British Phone Books, 1880-1984 by name, year, and county, allowing them to fill in many of the gaps in family and house histories left by other traditional genealogy sources. Perhaps more intriguing are the very particular details about the lives of the famous - and the infamous - including the likes of Sir Winston Churchill and Bram Stoker.
“The partnership between Ancestry and BT has resulted in the vital preservation of an important archive for family and social historians alike to use and enjoy. ProQuest is thrilled to be able to extend this content to our library customers,” said Cowan.
The British Phone Books, 1880-1984 represents a major addition to Ancestry Library Edition’s extensive range of sources for family and social history, offering more records than any other website. Its partnership with BT secures Ancestry Library Edition’s position as an innovative and accurate resource for family and social history available to genealogy societies, academic and public libraries.
More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information. Through innovative, user-centered discovery technology, ProQuest offers billions of pages of global content that includes historical newspapers, dissertations, and uniquely relevant resources for researchers of any age and sophistication—including content not likely to be digitized by others. Inspired by its customers and their end users, ProQuest is working toward a future that blends information accessibility with community to further enhance learning and encourage lifelong enrichment.
About Ancestry Library Edition –
Ancestry Library Edition is the academic and public library version of Ancestry.com – the No. 1 online source for family history information. Found in over 1,800 libraries in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, Ancestry Library Edition offers many of the great family history records available on Ancestry.com, including every publicly available U.S. Federal Census, 1790-1930, and 24 million WWI draft registration cards, as well as vast collections of birth, marriage, death, immigration and other records. Ancestry Library Edition and Ancestry.com are part of the MyFamily network of websites, which also includes Ancestry.co.uk, Ancestry.ca, Ancestry.com.au, Genealogy.com, RootsWeb.com and MyFamily.com.
About BT’s approach to heritage -
BT is committed to giving the public greater access to the nation’s telecommunications heritage, physically and virtually.
BT takes its responsibilities towards protecting its heritage seriously, and is the only UK company to give a firm and clear heritage commitment with a published Heritage Policy. BT’s heritage policy is available at http://www.btplc.com/Thegroup/BTsHistory/BTgrouparchives/OurHeritagePolicy/policy.htm
The nation’s telecommunications legacy is highlighted and safeguarded through Connected Earth, BT’s innovative heritage project, consisting of a virtual museum on the Internet (www.connected-earth.com), linked to physical displays of its dispersed artifacts collection in leading public museums around the country.