Hull Trade Directories

Collection Reference: Trade Directories

Covering Dates:  1781-1968 (some gaps, particularly 1940s)

Description of the Records:
Trade directories provide detailed information about local communities and their inhabitants. They were compiled and published more frequently than the census and can be an invaluable source of information. Trade directories usually begin with general information relating to the locality, including a brief history, population statistics, geographical and trade information as well as details about local institutions and facilities and advertisements before the listings for individual traders and professionals. Depending on the date, the extent of detail varies between individual trade directories. Before 1823 the directories only list trades and gentry, giving alphabetical lists of surnames and occupations. Also they are not a comprehensive list of all trades in a given locality as fees for inclusion meant some tradesmen didn’t seek to be added to the lists. After 1823 the directories become more detailed and contain addresses as well as surnames and occupations with lists being given alphabetically by both surname and street.

Searching the Collection: 
Volumes are available to browse in the searchroom. Streets, trades and individuals are listed alphabetically within each volume.

How the collection can help your research:
The directories are useful when looking at the history of a building. You can glean information about a building’s use and occupation. Please note that only the trade or business owner is listed. The directories are also useful when trying to locate terraces and courts, or to trace the development of streets and the growth of social housing.