Friday, January 27, 2012

City Directory Research

In doing research using City Directories, you soon realize that you need to nail down what directories are available for what locations and what years. It can be very misleading to do a name search in a city directory collection and come up dry. An incorrect conclusion to such an outcome would be that the individual does not live in that location at that time after all. But it could be that the collection simply does not contain a directory for that location and time.

The City Directories of the United States of America can tell you the when and where of city directory publication. Although the site is primarily designed to sell you copies of city directories, it also provides a way for you to see a listing of all of the directories produced.

On the home page search boxes on the left, highlight “Select Locality” and “City Directory.” A list of states will pop up. Select that one that interests you. On the next screen (where you will be greeted with purchase information), scroll down to the “City and year to search” boxes. They have dropdown boxes where you can see what cities had directories produced and for what years.

Check it out at City Directories of the United States of America .

By the way, the PGS has a class on city directory research that includes explanations of this website and much more. Look for it on our class list at .

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