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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 26, June 25, 2006, Article 10

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF AMERICAN DIRECTORIES BEFORE 1860

David Gladfelter writes: "U. S. city directories are very useful
for researching merchants and others who issued tokens and paper
scrip. Don't overlook the merchant advertisements in them as an
additional source of information.

Some libraries may have them on microfilm. The New Jersey State
Library, in addition to its extensive runs of original Trenton and
Newark directories, has microfilm directories for New York City,
Chicago, Cincinnati and other major U. S. cities. The Free Public
Library of Philadelphia no longer permits you to use the original
directories because of their fragile condition; you must use the
microfilm versions.

Directories are hard to locate for a personal library. John Ford's
directories that were auctioned by George Frederick Kolbe were
the most extensive private run I have seen.

There is a "directory of directories" by Dorothea N. Spear that
lists, for many cities and towns, the years in which directories
are known to have been published and in what libraries they may be
found.  The title is "Bibliography of American Directories through
1860" (Worcester, MA, American Antiquarian Society, 1961). It's
not too well known."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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