County directories provide a brief history and description of each community, followed by a list of principal private residents, a commercial list and a trade directory.
Town directories contain more detail, providing information on local government and public bodies in addition to lists of residents, in both alphabetical and street order. There are also trade and commercial lists and a local advertisements section.
Directories are often incomplete and may contain inaccurate information, but used in combination with other sources, they provide a valuable picture the life of a community.
There are Hampshire Directories from 1840 and Southampton Directories from 1803. Older publications are shelved in the Rare Books section, with more recent directories on the open shelves.
County directories are shelved at Cope 03.3, Southampton directories at Cope SOU 03.3 etc.
You can check which directories are available by searching WebCat.
Access to some collections is restricted to members of the University.
Rare Books Cope SOU 03.3 1836
Rare Books Cope SOU 03.3 1895