Missouri City Directories
In the 19th century, city residents relied on city directories much like people would later come to rely on telephone books. These texts, published yearly, list people and places and their addresses in alphabetical order. Many contain other information like citizens' occupations, forwarding addresses, deaths, or lists of local businesses. Some even go so far as to provide short biographies and historical information, much like county histories.
In their original format, city directories are a vital tool for historical researchers—they can help place a person in a particular place at a particular time. They can also lead to churches, cemeteries or nearby towns, all of which can offer their own helpful information. Digitized directories, however, offer even more to researchers. A digitized text can be searched by name, address, occupation or date.
This collection, hosted by Hannibal Free Public Library, contains directories from Hannibal and surrounding areas from 1859-1925.
This collection includes city directories, blue books, gazetteers, membership rosters, guides and other objects linking large numbers of people to places, businesses, and organizations. These resources predominately relate to the city of St. Louis with a particularly strong focus on Gould’s St. Louis Directories and Bluebooks from 1872-1900. Apart from St. Louis, there are additional resources for people and places throughout the State of Missouri, but they are limited in scope for the years and places covered.
The St. Louis Mercantile Library has assembled a full list of St. Louis directories here.
Missouri Digital Heritage is working to increase access to Missouri's digitized city directories. We are actively recruiting content in this area. If you know of any Missouri city directories that are not available online and could benefit from digitization, or even an existing collection we can link to, please contact Digitization Consultant Matt Butler at 573-522-1477 or [email protected].