Historical Directories of England and Wales is a free, online collection at the University of Leicester.

This is a collection of trade directories from England and Wales for the time period ranging from the 1760s to the 1910s.

The directories can be browsed online, page by page, by location or they can be downloaded and viewed as PDF files in a PDF viewer, like Adobe Reader.

“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.”

[su_heading size=”18″]What can I learn from Directories?[/su_heading]

Directories may include:

  • Listing of homeowners/householder’s by name and address

  • Street names

  • Resident names by address

  • Businesses by address

  • Tradesmen by address

  • Alphabetical listing of businesses or tradesmen

  • Lists of wealthy residents and government officials

  • Maps of city or county

  • History of the city or county

  • Lists with addresses of churches, schools, government offices, and more

  • Information that helps track people during non-census years

Historical Directories of England and Wales has these browsable links for each location: