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28th December
written by Richard

Last May I wrote a post on City Directories: their value to historical researchers and the need for digitization. These books list personal and business names, addresses, and occupations for most of San Diego County. Now some great news to report. Nearly 40 years of San Diego directories are available online from the Internet Archive.

Several months ago, the Special Collections department of the San Diego Public Library accepted an incredible offer from the Balboa Park Online Collaborative to have these important volumes digitized. The years from 1887 to 1925 were scanned, page by page through the services of the BPOC. Volumes once available only in the California Room at the downtown library, can now be viewed and searched online, or downloaded in a variety of formats.

Click here for San Diego Directories.

Probably the easiest way to use the directories is to read them online. You can flip through the pages or do a search by name. One problem, unfortunately, is that the directory titles don’t always show the year. So here’s a hint. If you look on the right side of the search results you’ll see “sort results by.” Click on “Date” and the volumes will be sorted by year.

If you don’t want to rely on your Internet connection you can also download the entire volumes in pdf, full-text, or other formats. You can even download the directories to a Kindle.


  1. 01/03/2012

    this is a grea post, how nice for them to digitize the old san diego directory

  2. Alexander D Bevil

    Check this out:

    You have to have a membership in; but it’s well worth it.

    Or, you can access at the downtown library 9th flor where Mr. Crawford works.

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