Ancestry has begun posting indexed scanned images of old British telephone books. The first release, now online, includes 430 directory volumes that cover London and parts of Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex, and Surrey. The earliest date from 1880, the most recent from 1984. Additional years and counties will be added in future releases. One can search the database with as little as just a surname (and after 1946, a county) or one can browse a specific directory (e.g. to view advertisements and front matter). The database is provided in association with BT, formerly British Telecom, which was part of the British post office until 1981. The original phone books are from the collection of the BT Archives.