New York Public Library Digitizes 137 Years of New York City Directories

The New York Public Library is digitizing its collection of New York City Directories, 1786 through 1922/3, serving them free through the NYPL Digital Collections portal. The first batch—1849/50 through 1923—have already been scanned, and the 1786–1848/9 directories are right now being scanned. The whole collection will be going online over the coming months.


The goal is to make the directories text searchable in powerful new ways, in order to build datasets that will inform research in New York City history, genealogy, and beyond.

You can read more about this effort in the NYPL’s web site at while the city directories that have been digitized so far may be found at


This link is to the New York Public Library, and contains information on some early Directories that can be searched online for free, right now. Thank you, Mr. Eastman, for this link.


This is great news–thanks. I have found city directories to be one of the top sources in tracing my family history, right after censuses and bmd’s. Right now, I have a paid subscription to a site with city directories but with first Brooklyn, thru the Brooklyn Public Library, and now Manhattan, thru the NYC Public Library, being free, I may be able to delete that cost from my gen expenses.


So totally found my Frederick Haussler in the 1850 NYC directory! Looking forward to figuring out when he moved to Illinois using these. Thanks!


Thank you so much for sharing this, Mr. Eastman! Years ago I found my G-Grandfather’s bar listed in a NYC Directory (on microfiche in SLC), but I haven’t been able to find it again. Hooray for the NYC Public Library, and digitization! Thanks again – Bonnie Dailey


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