"The phone is a remarkably complex, simple device,
and very rarely ever needs repairs, once you fix them." - Dan/Panther

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Crossed Lines online exhibition

Started by Owain, November 16, 2020, 04:39:58 AM

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Press release:

'Hallo, hallo, hallo... I'm afraid not, we have a crossed line, please hang up... Hallo... You have a wrong number... Oh! Hallo...' – Jean Cocteau, The Human Voice (1930)

A crowd-sourced online exhibition of literary telephones has launched celebrating the history of the phone call in literature from the late 19th Century to the present day.

Selected from nominations received from around the world, the exhibition features more than eighty works spanning over 130 years, exploring the long history of creative calling in texts by authors from Virginia Woolf to J K Rowling.

To view the exhibition, please visit

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Council in partnership with the Science Museum Group and BT Archives, Crossed Lines is a research project led by Dr Sarah Jackson at Nottingham Trent University.


Featured in The Guardian

BT Archives will acquire physical copies (and possibly also
e-books) of a small subset of the books that are included in the
exhibition as part of their 'Historical Information Collection', which
comprises secondary literature relevant to the original records held in
their collection. This will be linked to a new subfonds in their
catalogue, which is available to the public. This would clearly
explain that the origins of the collection lie with the Crossed Lines
project, with a link to our website. For individual volumes acquired,
the catalogue entry will fully credit the person who suggested its
inclusion in the exhibition.

Also, BT Archives will create a digital record within BT Archives of
the text of all the entries in the exhibition, together with the
description, crediting every person who nominated the text.