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The TCI Library was created and is maintained by Telephone Collectors International, a non-profit organization, as a public service.  It supports our goal of helping to preserve the history of telephony -- particularly fragile paper documents that may otherwise be lost to posterity.  It is supported by members through dues and by the generous donations of funds and files from other sponsors and site visitors.  All work is done by members, who unselfishly volunteer their time.

The Document Repository is a collection of:

  • downloadable files,
  • documents which describe the contents of each file,
  • categories, which group documents by subject and
  • sub-categories, which group documents within a category.

Files are the scanned version of the material to be saved and viewed.  They are typically in .pdf format to preserve formatting and for ease of printing.  These files require a pdf reader, such as Adobe Acrobat to view.  Occasionally other formats, such as .jpg are used.  Most other formats can be viewed directly by popular browsers.

Documents typically include a title and description for each file.  A document is added for eqach file by the Library Staff, and is not part of the original file.  Where possible, we have added keywords that can be used to search for documents.  Thus, the simplest way to find a particular document of interest is to search for one or more keywords.  (See the search document for suggestions.)  Recommendations for additional keywords for any document are always welcome.  

Categories are defined to group documents for ease of browsing.  Where possible, the manufacturer’s coding structure is used.  For example, Bell System Practices (BSPs) are grouped by BSP series then BSP number.  If there is no unifying manufacturer code, documents are generally grouped by manufacturer name, then alphabetically or by date.  

Each category may include a list of sub-categories and documents.  By clicking on the appropriate link at the beginning of the document section, the list may be re-sorted alphabetically or by number of hits in ascending or descending order.

Sub-categories are created as the number of documents in a category becomes large.  This helps keep the number of documents at any category level manageable for browsing.  There may be several levels of sub-categories.  Documents that don't fall into sub-categories may be at any category level.  They are found after the sub-categories listed.


Examples of levels of sub-categories for various document types include:

Technical Reference Documents (e.g. BSP, GSP)

  • By Company Name 
    • By Document Series 
      • By Document Number 

Catalogs, Manuals and Educational Documents

  • By Company Name 
    • By Document Type 
      • By Date or Document Title

 Wiring Diagrams

  • By Manufacturer 
    • By Telephone Model Type or Model Number

Switching

  • By Manufacturer

Please use the "Contact Us" link to send corrections, suggestions and additions.

Mouse over Introduction on the Menu Bar and select Using The TCI Library to learn more about the Library.

New User?

Read the articles under "Introduction" in the black menu bar above.

Recent Contributors

Thanks for new documents from Chuck Hensley, John Gilbert, Chuck Batson, Alan David, Steve Flocke, Paul Wills, Dave Gruger, Jim Prather, John Stancliff, Sam Etler, John Novack, Clint Gilliland, Steve Cichorsky and Paul Fassbender.

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Hints for using the TCI Library

"Menu Bar" for site navigation.
Many menu choices are hidden until you mouse over the menu.  If you want help getting started, see the links under the word "Introduction" in the Menu Bar.
 
The user interface is oriented toward the user’s choice to either Browse or Search for information.  The Browse the Library menu entry offers many quick links to move around the Library quickly.  Try it!

Three search options.
The Library’s keyword-based searches, called Basic Search and Advanced Search, accept keywords as short as 2 characters (WE, AE, etc.) and search strings up to 255 characters.  If you get more than 1,000 items, refine your search or try the Google Search option.
 
Library INBOX.
The INBOX may hold some files that have been submitted but not fully processed into the Library.  These are often topics of current discussion on the TCI Listserv.
 
Finding BSPs.
Many BSPs are currently only identified by BSP number. If a text search doesn’t produce a BSP, try looking in one of the many BSP index documents to find a BSP number for the product you are researching just as you would do if referencing a paper library of the BSPs. Then enter the BSP number in the search box.

 

 

Telephone Collectors International was incorporated under the laws of the state of Kansas on May 13, 1986. The goal of the organization is "to educate the public, as well as the members of the Corporation, regarding the history of telephony, the value of old telephones and related items, their collectability and preservation; to research telephone history and publish and provide literature thereon; to promote the public exhibition of old telephones and related items; and to promote common courtesies and guidelines for use by the public." Telephone Collectors International is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization, to which U.S. tax deductible contributions can be made.