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University of Leicester - Historical Directories

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Trade directories are a vital source for the study of local and family history.

In Britain the first recognisable directories emerged during the late seventeenth century, meeting a growing demand for accurate information about trade and industry.

The content of the directories varies, but typically they contain:

 Trade Directories - England & Wales

The University of Leicester’s special collection of digitised Historical Directories is available online at no cost.

This collection contains all 675 directories for England and Wales originally digitised under a Lottery funded project. The aim of this project was to make available one directory for each English and Welsh county for the 1850s, 1890s and 1910s.

In addition, a sample of directories was made available for the period 1750-1849, and for the 1860s, 1870s, 1880s and 1900s.

Most well known among the directories are the Post Office Directories, Kelly’s Directories and Pigot Directories.



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