Telephone Directories – Library of Congress

A very nice addition to the Library of Congress digital collection – Vintage Telephone Directories. At the site there are state and city directories for; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the city of Chicago. In the states, many small towns are there also, not just large cities. The Library of Congress has made digital 8,327 reels of microfilm, and to this date, there are 3,513 now online for you to view.

Most cover 1900 to 1999 but about 7 are from the 1800s (of course fewer phones in that century). The few in the late 1800s are from Connecticut, Iowa, and Illinois.

This is such an opportunity to find where your ancestors were living at a given time. Their name, address and phone number are there. Many of the phone directories are the white page (names – addresses – phone) but also the yellow pages which would be businesses, including business advertisements. Imagine finding the AD for a family business from 1920.

Now all years are available but a wide selection is here on the collection. It is such fun checking out each location you think an ancestor lived at a certain time.

A good example, I could not remember the phone number of my parents’ home in Miami in the mid-1950s. Such enough, there it was with the MU 8-9968 number.

A great aspect is that you can clip the section of the directory you wish to save to your computer or even the full page.

The most difficult part is finding the page your family is located on in each directory. It is in alphabetical order, and you might go through numerous pages to find the right listing. You can enlarge a section so it is very readable.

The listing of the states available is on the far left side, just click on the state and then you get a listing of counties and towns. Click on the one of special interest.

After you have searched the available collection, save the site and return in 3 to6 months to review any new phone directories added.

Photos: 1957 Bixler families of Hanover, PA; Yellow Pages ADS for York Co, PA; and 1960 Phone Directory for Alabama.

Related Blogs:

Directory of Surnames

Time Stands Still

Old U.K. Directories

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