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City and Business Directories: Virginia 1801-1929 from Gale

The collection provides historical, personal, and professional information about the inhabitants of a city and information about the city’s civic, social, benevolent, and literary organizations.

City directories are among the most comprehensive sources of historical and personal information available. Their emphasis on ordinary people and the common-place event make them important in the study of American history and culture. One of the few means available for researchers to uncover information on specific individuals, these directories provide such information as:

  • Addresses
  • City and county officers
  • Heads of families, firms, and names of those doing business in the city
  • Lists of city residents
  • Occupations
  • Street directories

In addition, researchers can learn much about day-to-day life through analysis of information on churches, public and private schools, benevolent, literary and other associations, and banks. Finally, most directories include advertising, often illustrating the products being sold. This information lends valuable insight into the city’s lifestyles and illustrates popular trends.


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June 26, 2014


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