A collection of digitised trade directories, part of the University of Leicester's Special Collections Online, covering England and Wales from the 1760s to the 1910s.
Free text searching for names, towns, villages and occupations may prove difficult and time consuming. The site may also run slowly on occasion due to the volume of data being searched.
We have recently entered into partnership with Ancestry, enabling access to our digitised trade directories via their websites. Individual subscribers can search the collection by name, place, occupation or keyword via their database UK, City and County Directories, 1766 - 1946. This is now the recommended means of accessing the directories for genealogy researchers with an Ancestry subscription or access via their local library. For all other users, we continue to provide free access to full volumes as PDF files.
The directories can be browsed by location and either viewed online one page at a time or downloaded and accessed via a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader.
For advice on searching the collection see the Directories Help page.
These pages replace the Historical Directories website, withdrawn in March 2014. The site ran for ten years but could no longer be maintained due to hardware and software obsolescence.