Part of the Greater Philadelphia GeoHistory Network   
Search the Directories

Year Surname/Firm Name Occupation Street  

Work in Progress! "A" through "N" of the 1861 directory is searchable (above), and the entire directory may be viewed as images (below). The rest of the directory, and additional years, will be posted as time and funding permit.

View Original Directories

About this page...

With the generous support of the Abraham Lincoln Foundation, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia has undertaken the task of a pilot digitization of various resources that document the city of Philadelphia and its inhabitants around the time of the Civil War. The City Directory was an obvious choice.

Matt Ainslie, working with the Athenaeum, has scanned and digitized directories for multiple years using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology and a significant amount of old-fashioned hard work. The results are searchable, and soon mappable, and provide the ability to search the directories not only by name, but also by occupation and street name -- which are not possible using the directory as it was printed. Please note that the accuracy of the data is not 100%, due to the nature of typesetting and printing in the 19th century and the immaturity of various technologies today. If there is doubt as to a specific record, please consult the images.

The images of the entire directories, including the well-illustrated advertising sections, are available at the bottom of the page. Particularly when looking up known names, this provides a quick and accurate way to verify information.