Historical Directories is changing. Please read on to find out more or continue to the test version of the new Historical Directories Collection, part of our Special Collections Online. The previous version of www.historicaldirectories.org will remain available for a limited period.
Update, 5 September 2013: We are aware of some issues with searching on the new system and are working to resolve these. Feedback on the new service is welcomed, and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thewebsite was launched in February 2003 as part of a Lottery funded project. In order to continue providing free access to this resource, we have transferred the directories onto a new website.
Our new service brings together Historical Directories, My Leicestershire History and Manufacturing Pasts to create the University of Leicester's Special Collections Online, an integrated digital library containing reproductions of rare and unique material from the collections of the University Library and other organisations. While we complete this change, there will be a short period when both the original and new versions of Historical Directories will be accessible. However, in order to complete the upgrade we will be switching off the old version of the site later in the year.
Historical Directories is a digital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales, from 1766 to 1919. It contains reproductions of comparatively rare books, essential tools for research into local and family history. The collection provides national coverage and also integrates material from different institutions into a coherent, and free, online collection. It is relevant to amateur historians, academics, teachers and the general public. The website contains at least one directory for every English and Welsh county for each of the 1850s,1890s and 1910s.
Some original directories contain large, fragile and folded maps. We have omitted most of these during the digitisation process, as they are unsuitable for scanning. However some of the Leicestershire and Rutland maps have been digitised and included in the My Leicestershire History project.