Telephone directories

Sound and Vision The Hague has nearly all national telephone books that were issued by the Dutch telecommunications company, KPN (formerly PTT). They are currently not available for consultation. To find telephone numbers from 1901-1950, click on the website

Instructions on searching phone books via the Delpher website (available in Dutch only)

The telephone books from 1901 to 1950 are available via the link “Boeken Basis” part of the Delpher website. Rather than entering a search term, click on ‘search’ (magnifying glass) and filter the results (on the left side of the screen) by origin ‘Herkomst’: Museum of Communication, and sort by date, if desired. Click here to do this automatically. 

You can also perform an advanced search under ”Uitgebreid zoeken” and enter ‘telefoondienst’ under “Titel” to find the telephone books. The first part is found via: ”telephoondienst”. The database does not contain phone books for all years.

You can use the PROX operator in your search (searches for two words that are in close proximity, up to 10 words apart) in order to combine a name with a full or abbreviated street name or profession. Because certain names are very common, searching in phone books is different from searching regular books. People will, for example, often want to search for a name within a certain city, which will require browsing through quite some pages to get to the intended result. Browsing is often easier if you download the phone book as a PDF file first by clicking on the downward arrow. 

Consult the collection

Personnel archives of PTT, the Staatsbedrijf der Posterijen, Telegrafie and Telefonie

Do you seek information on people who used to work for Dutch Mail (PTT)? If so, send an email to the National Archives. They manage the archives of former Dutch Mail (PTT). Provide a clear description of what you’re looking for in the Subject line.