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City Directories, 1832-1990

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Processed by: Archives Staff; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


City Directories




University of Louisville Archives and Records CenterLouisville, Kentucky 40292

Conditions Governing Access note

Open to researchers

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], City Directories, 1832-1990, RG799, University Archives and Records Center, University of Louisville, Louisville.


206 volumes

Scope and Content

Annual city directories provide detailed information on businesses, government, churches, social, and educational organizations, and the residents of American cities. Between hard copy and micro-publications, the university has one of the most extensive collection of 19th-century directories for the nation's larger cities. The University Archives houses a virtually complete run of bound Louisville City Directories from the first one in 1832 to those of the late 20th century. There are also directories beginning in 1873 for the nearby cities of Jeffersonville and New Albany, Indiana.

City directories allow family and urban historians to follow individual changes in occupation and residence over time, to trace the history of urban properties, and to follow the ethnic and socio-economic composition of a neighborhood. Beginning in 1884, the Louisville City Directory contains a list of householders by street address and until 1929, African American residents were denoted in the street address section. Starting in 1957, a "suburban" Louisville Directory lists householders and residents for persons outside the city limits. City directories are a rich sources for extrapolating the changing character of the American city and its residents over almost two centuries.


  • History

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