What is a trade directory?
Trade directories were very popular in the Victorian period. They contain lists of all the people involved in some kind of trade in a town. Sometimes they are arranged by street, and sometimes they are arranged by occupation, for example, all the blacksmiths might be listed together. They were used by salesmen who travelled the country to sell their goods. We can use trade directories to:
- find out what shops there were in a town
-discover what trades and industries there were
And if we look at different trade directories for different years we can see how our locality changes over time. If you want to look at trade directories for your own area you should contact your local library or archive for help.