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Old Telephones Book Directories

I receive inquiries periodically from people doing genealogy research or have other needs to find old telephone book directories (generally called the "White Pages").    Following this paragraph are some possible sources of old directory listings which were suggested by several members of the ATCA club.   As more sources are located, I'll post them here.  In addition to those sources listed below, another possibility is buying old telephone books on eBay.  This is a hit and miss challenge as you know!  Do a search for "phone book" or "directory" or "white pages" at or

The following link goes to a neat web page on collecting phone books.  The author asked that I post this for him on my web page and I told him I was more than happy to!  Here it is:

Collecting Telephone Books

No longer available

Nebraska Telephone Directories

"The NSHS library is the only library in the state that collects old phonebooks from towns, cities, or regions in Nebraska. The coverage is from the early 1900s to the present. A database (Nebraska Phonebooks) has been developed to give an accurate account of our holdings and to help researchers in verifying the existence of phonebooks for towns/cities and years of interest. The researcher may input a town or city and will be given a listing of all the years we have coverage for that town/city."

Search Telephone Database

Enter town/city:

The Phone Book Library

For information email

From Jeremy Walters:

Call Herb Hackenberg at the Telecommunications History Group in Denver. They have a huge collection of old phone books and perform a lookup service at a nominal fee.


Telecommunications History Group
P.O. Box 8719
Denver, CO 80201


From Steph Kerman:

Back in the late 80s I attended a lecture on genealogical research here in the SF Bay area. The lecturer was from Long Island. He stated that he had been able to trace his family and even locate living relatives in Poland who had survived WW-II. His resource: The New York (City) Public Library.


From another member:

1. The Library or Congress, in Washington DC, had a large collection of historical phone books, and also ‘city directories’, when I was there about 10 years ago. Possibly it is still there. Or course, you need to make a trip to Washington DC to use the collection. If a ‘city directory’ was published for the area in which you are interested, it would probably be even more useful than a phone directory.

2. A reference library in the county seat or state capital might have back issues of phone books. For instance, in New York City, the main reference library has phone directories on microfilm for the areas surrounding the city, going back a long way. Also possibly the library of the state university. Many of the materials are available in the 42st reference library, or the new Business and Technology Library at 34th Street. Things still there at the Annex must be requested in advance, and they bring them out in a few days.

3. You might also try the Mormon Genealogical Center in Salt Lake City.  They have an extremely extensive collection of genealogical reference material.

4. Another area that would still be available would be land records. If the people of interest were land owners, the property deeds would be available in the county clerk or recorder office.