Bell System Practices

The Bell System Practices is a compilation of technical publications concerning the Bell System’s telephone plants and were key to the standardized service quality throughout the Bell System. After Divestiture, the Practices were divided among the resulting companies under different names.

The Bell System Practices is not a single book. A small library is literally need to store the entire Bell System Practices collection. Today, such libraries are hard, if at all possible, to come by. Practices follow a 9-digit numerical index schema. You may click here for the BSP Index (click [show] next to “Section”) or download the BSP Index in XLSX format by clicking here.

Actual availability of the Bell System Practices is not straightforward. To obtain an actual hard copy, you will need to peruse telephone shows and online auction sites to find a used copy. You may also want to consider joining a collector club to obtain help with wiring or troubleshooting. Below are several websites that provide much of the Bell System Practices in PDF format. If you comb through each repository, you will find that many BSPs can be found in multiple places while others are not as common. The repositories listed below are typically volunteer-run and not equally comprehensive in scope.

BSP Archive Repositories & Information