Skip to main content

City Directories of the United States - Microform Collection: Home

Holdings

CITY DIRECTORIES OF THE UNITED STATES

American city directories [Segment I:] through 1860 [microform]. New Haven: Research Publications, 1969.
Van Pelt Library Microforms / Microfiche 5

U.S. city directories. Segment II: 1861-1881 [microform]. New Haven: Research Publications, 197?.
U.S. city directories. Segment III: 1882-1901 [microform]. New Haven: Research Publications, 197?.
Van Pelt Library Micorforms / Microfilm Cont 165


DESCRIPTION

American city directories. [Segment I]: 6298 microfiche
U.S. city directories. Segments II and III: 1110 reels; 35 mm


COVERAGE

American city directories. [Segment I]. Based upon Spear's checklist. Locations of reproduced items are not provided on title card.

U.S. city directories. Segments II and III. Directories from selected cities: fifty largest cities in the 1890 Census; twenty-two additional cities for regional coverage. "If someone wants information on a specific person who lived in the latter 19th century, the odds are better than one in five he will find it in this collection. ... In an urban area, the chances are better than even ...." [Publisher's brochure, quoted in Microforms research collections: a guide, p. 143]. Locations of reproduced items are provided as card preceding item.


ARRANGEMENT

Within each segment, directories are arranged alphabetically by city. For each city, directories are arranged chronologically. Regional directories appear in the alphabetic sequence.


FINDING AIDS

City directories of the United States, 1860-1961: guide to the microfilm collection. Woodbridge, Ct: Research Publications, 1984.
[Van Pelt Reference: Z 5771.2 .G58 1983]
Despite the title, this is the checklist for Segments I, II, and III. Entries are arranged alphabetically by city; for each city, entries are arranged chronologically, with breaks between segments identified. Entries for regional directories appear in alphabetic sequence. An index of cities grouped alphabetically by state, with regions included in the alphabetic sequence, provides page number access to the checklist.

Individual titles reproduced in American city directories. [Segment I] are listed in the Card Catalog in two ways:
  1. The set title ["American city directories"], then by city, following Spear
  2. Subject heading, e.g., --Directories
Early items appearing in American city directories. [Segment I] will be listed in Franklin or the Card Catalog if they also appear in the Evans or Shaw-Shoemaker short title catalog collections (also known as Early American imprints. First and Second Series). However, location information from these sources will be for the Evans or Shaw-Shoemaker sets.

Franklin and Card Catalog listings for individual titles reproduced in U.S. city directories are incomplete.


RELATED MATERIALS

Spear, Dorothea N. 1961. Bibliography of American directories through 1860. Worcester, Mass.: American Antiquarian Society.
[Van Pelt Reference: Z 5771 .S7]
Annotated checklist of 1647 directories, of which 1110 are held at American Antiquarian Society. Titles held at several large general collections and many local collections are identified by NUC symbols. This checklist served as basis for American city directories. [Segment I].


COMPARABLE RESOURCES

There is no comparable resource. However, information about Philadelphia persons is available:
  • Philadelphia city directories are in the Van Pelt stacks [call number F 158.2] and at other area libraries
  • The Philadelphia Social History Project Archives
  • Decennial census schedules [Philadelphia only. No indexes at Penn]


LOCATION

American city directories. [Segment I].
Van Pelt Microforms: Microfiche 5
U.S. city directories. Segments II and III.
Van Pelt Microforms: Microfilm Cont 165

Librarian & Coordinator of Social Sciences Collections

Lauris Olson's picture
Lauris Olson
Contact:
University of Pennsylvania Libraries
203 Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
University of Pennsylvania
3420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
U.S.A.
215-898-0119
Website