City Directories

City directories are a valuable tool in determining current and former occupants, owners, business names and prior use of specific addresses. Publishing of city directories for major U.S. cities began in the 1800s. Many of the earliest directories did not include street or address sections but became more robust over time. In the 1950s and 1960s, many metropolitan areas were covered in cross directories, which included a name section, street section, and a numeric telephone section.  

Envirosite’s Proprietary Database – Exceeds Over One Billion Records

The Envirosite City Directory Report leverages our National Historic Address Archives, which is a comprehensive proprietary database of over one billion commercial and residential records, business names and occupant records for every city and town in the United States.

Envirosite also leverages a Proprietary City Directory Research process:

  • Proprietary process locates the subject property and determines likely adjoining addresses in all directions around the property
  • Envirosite research analysts review all forms of available historic address data including microfiche, microfilm, hardcopy, and digital materials available at major repositories and libraries
  • Research analysts search possible street name changes and alias names when streets are not listed in the earlier directories

Key Features:

  • Report includes subject property and likely surrounding addresses–including additional street/addresses for a standard report on a single parcel property
  • Data is presented in a clear and concise manner for easy synthesis and use
  • Address coverage for every incorporated city and town
  • Coverage provided at approximately five-year intervals, where available
  • Report format allows for keyword searches

City Directory Research Challenges and Solutions

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