This collection contains several hundred trade and street directories of different industries and locations.

Trade directories collection

This collection contains several hundred trade and street directories of different industries and locations. Most date from the twentieth century, but there are earlier nineteenth century examples and the rare books collection includes a few eighteenth century London street directories.

The collections is split into two types of directory arranged

  • By geographical location: this collection includes almost complete runs of the London Post Office Directory (later Kelly’s Directory) and older London directories
  • By trade and industry or product: This is a large collection of directories arranged by trade or industry, for example, Aeroplane directory, Cotton year book, or Gas world year book. 

Trade directories are a rich source for researching the history of industries and trades and for family history. They contained lists of names and addresses, often classified by trade. The earliest directories were not illustrated but later directories included more illustrations as printing techniques changed. Examples include:

1755 London directory (PDF)

1883 Kelly’s London directory (PDF)

1963 Kelly’s London directory (PDF)

The collection is complemented by the Guildhall Library’s London directories on microfilm (held in SML London).