Search - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why are search results sometimes arranged in a seemingly random order for Basic or Advanced Searches?

A: The search order you see is probably "Newest First" or "Most popular."  Check the "Ordering:" box on the results page.  Try selecting "Alphabetical" and click on Search to re-sort.


Q: When I click on the result of a Google Search, the file I get doesn't seem to relate to my search.  Why did I get this file?

A: Google searches work by matching keywords anywhere within a target file.  The match may be later on the page or file.  Try using a Control-F search within the file for your target text string or primary keyword.  If the source file is relatively low resolution, the Google search may have trouble recognizing letters and numbers, so erroneous matches may be returned.

If the found document was not OCRed, a Control-F search will not find anything.  You'll just have to page through the document and search the old-fashioned way.

Unfortunately, the Google Search results do not return the title of the TCI Library document.  Often the clickable link will be something cryptic like "View" or "Download."  If the text below the link looks interesting, click on the link and see what was found!


Q: I used copy-and-paste to move keywords into a search box and no results were returned from my search.  I know there are files in the Library that should have been found.  Why were there no matches?

A: This can happen when using copy-and-paste to move text from an html email to the search box. In some cases strange characters may have been caught in your copy opertion. If the characters are not visible, you won't know they're there! If a search returns 0 results, try typing in the search string and restart the search.

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.