Postal and trade directories are a wonderful source of information. However, not everyone was in trade and women and girls very rarely get a mention. Those who were servants or boarders also will not appear. To capture more people in your searches try using census records from 1841 onwards.
A collection of digitised trade directories, part of the University of Leicester's Special Collections Online, covering England and Wales from the 1760s to the 1910s has been individually listed below.
Please note that free text searching for names, towns, villages and occupations may prove difficult and time consuming. The site may also run slowly on occasion due to the volume of data being searched.
The directories can be browsed by location and either viewed online one page at a time or downloaded and accessed via a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader.
While you are in the Library don't forget to check out our databases that may contain commercial and trade directories: