Vintage Australian Telephone Books

vintage telephone booksTelephone books are almost a thing of the past. They are dying.  There was a time when everyone would have a copy of the latest telephone book on a shelf, or in a drawer right next to their phone, so it was there when it was needed. However with mobile phones and the internet no-one had a need to use the old heavy printed books anymore.

But telephone books are not only fascinating to browse through, well the vintage ones anyway, but they are an immense resource for historians as well. Really you say? Why?

Well think about it. Genealogists can use them to see where their ancestors were living at the time. And if the person advertised their business you’ll know the occupation address of that as well. Social historians can use them to see who in the town had a telephone, as well as what businesses were in the town at the time. All of which helps add to the jigsaw of history that we try to piece together.

Archive Digital Books Australia have digitised a number of vintage Australian telephone books and have made them available on CD.

NEW SOUTH WALES
New South Wales Telephone Exchanges List of Subscribers 1913
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1934: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1935: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1936: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1939: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1940: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1941: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1942: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1943: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1945: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1946: Section 7 North and North-Western Districts
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1946: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1947: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1948: Section 5 Western Districts
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1948: Section 6 North Coast Districts
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1948: Section 7 North-North Western Districts
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1949: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1950: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1951: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1952: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directory 1953: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directories 1930s: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directories 1940s: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directories 1950-1953: Sydney
New South Wales Telephone Directories: Compendium 1: Set of 4 Northern and Western Districts Directories 1946-48
New South Wales Telephone Directories: Compendium 2: Selection of 21 Directories

QUEENSLAND
Queensland Telephone Directory 1931: South and South Western Districts
Queensland Telephone Directory 1934: South and South Western Districts
Queensland Telephone Directory 1936: South and South Western Districts
Queensland Telephone Directory 1940: South and South Western Districts
Queensland Telephone Directory 1943: South and South Western Districts
Queensland Telephone Directory 1947: Brisbane
Queensland Telephone Directory 1959: Northern Districts

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
South Australian Telephone Directory 1914

TASMANIA
Tasmania Telephone Directory 1953

VICTORIA
Melbourne Telephone Directory 1929

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Western Australia Telephone Directory 1926: South West

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Telephone books weren’t meant made to be kept. You know when you get a new one, you’re meant to throw the old one out. This means that old telephone books are actually hard to come by, so those that we are are of great value. And we are lucky to have these records to help find our ancestors. Unfortunately future generations won’t have that opportunity. With the size of phone books getting smaller and smaller each year, as so many are opting to not even put their details in it, it means that is one less potential place for them to find you.

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And while I’m on the topic of old telephone books, if anyone has any vintage (pre-1960) Australian telephone directories that they would be willing to loan to get scanned, we’d love to hear from you. You can send an email to inquiries@gould.com.au, or give us a call (08) 8263 2055.

10 thoughts on “Vintage Australian Telephone Books

  1. Gday do you have any idea where i could find sydney phone book five dock area 1981 82 thanks for any help

  2. Dave, keep an eye on ebay. That really is your best bet, unless you can find someone with a collection.

  3. looking for the melbourne big phone book to buy
    need to no now lindsay abson

  4. Hi I am trying to track down an old phone number and not sure how to do this. The number would of been in an early 90’s qld ph book before the property was sold. The address was Tudour Valley Road, Allora Qld 4362, name Percy & Margaret Chandler. Wondering if you cld point me in the right direction…..thanks

  5. Hi Kristy, you might like to get in touch with the State Library of Queensland, as they have a number of older phone books, so might be able to help you. https://goo.gl/P4g7Dz. Their phone number is (07) 3840 7666.

  6. Hi i need help please in tracking down a address from a phone number is this possible..? I have the phone number and suburb but i need to link it to the address from this number from 1977.it is a melbourne phone number
    Anyone out there who can help please. ?
    Thanks Kind Regards Steve

  7. Hi Steve, I suggest you get in touch with the State Library of Victoria (https://www.slv.vic.gov.au/) to see what Melbourne Telephone books they hold, as there aren’t any from that era that have been digistised as that’s too recent.

  8. Dave – I have a 1981 Sydney phone book. I will keep it but happy to check an entry for you.

  9. Hi, I’m looking for a 1950’s Western Australian phone book to go with a similar age red phone box I just purchased. Any ideas?

    Thanks Rick

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