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Cope Collection, Special Collections, Hartley Library: Directories

The Cope Collection includes books, pamphlets, journals, prints, photographs and postcards on all aspects of life in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.


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.

Guides include:

  • Hampshire Archivists' Group Hampshire and Isle of Wight Directories (1980) Cope quarto 03.3
  • Norton, Jane Guide to the National and Provincial Directories of England and Wales, excluding London, published before 1856(1950) DA 20
  • Shaw, Gareth British Directories: a Bibliography and Guide to Directories Published in England and Wales 1850-1950 and Scotland 1773-1950 (1989) Z/DA 13

Cope Collection Directories

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 Library Search

Electronic Access

Access to some collections is restricted to members of the University.

From: Fletcher's Directory of the Borough of Southampton (1836)

advert engraving

Rare Books Cope SOU 03.3 1836

From: Stevens' Directory of Southampton (1895)

Perkins Auctioneers advert

Rare Books Cope SOU 03.3 1895