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Directories By Address: Inventories of Library Collections

There are directories that organize alphabetically and there are directories that organize by street address. The Library has both types, but this guide is primarily an inventory of directory collections where the directories are organized by address.

Introduction

Illinois - White Pages and Yellow Pages - Chicago - July 1914 thru Spring 1929. Library of Congress General Collections.

Directories are good resources for many types of research. However, directories with information that is presented by address can be even more useful.

  • They can be of interest for anyone doing genealogical research by allowing some to make the neighborhood connections.
  • They can help researchers understand historic commercial activity by looking at the businesses along a street or commercial corridor.
  • They can also be helpful for those doing research on their house by showing previous occupants.
  • They can help people doing environmental studies of a particular location by providing more insight on what businesses were operating.
  • They can be helpful for anyone just wanting to know about their community by being able to determine who was where.

The primary purpose of this guide is to provide an inventory of two particular collections of directories that provide access by address/location. Access to these collections is limited to those at the Library of Congress they are not digitally available. Requesting these items is done in person with paper slips. More information about them is available on the dedicated inventory pages.

We have also included a few other related resources—of particular note are the city business directories. Many of these directories do provide information by address. Many of these directories are print only but some of these items may be available electronically in some fashion. More detailed information about these items is found on the City Business & Other Directories section of this guide.

If you cannot come to the Library of Congress, some directories may be available at your local public library or in a historical society collection.