"The Historical Directories collection
The main considerations in selecting directories for digitisation were to achieve national coverage and also to integrate material from different institutions as a coherent online collection. National coverage has been provided for three date bands: the 1850s, 1890s, and 1910-1920, with one digitised directory from each period selected for each county and main county town.
The 1850s were the decade when directories began to be published more widely and with information at parish level. The years around the turn of the century coincide with the popular 1901 census website, though the decision to include volumes from the decade before the 1901 census, and from the decade 1910-1920, avoids duplication of coverage.
Nonetheless, it is hoped that this choice will allow users of both websites to be able compare different historical sources. The intense current interest in World War I also gives a potentially large audience for directories from the period 1910-1920.
Examples of some very early directories, from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, were also included, together with a more detailed approach to Leicestershire, London and Wales."