24 July 2008

The "blank" Chicago city directory on Footnote.com

The last city directory in the "browse section" of Footnote for the Chicago city directories indicates it is [blank]. It appears to be at least two years of directories combined, perhaps more. I panned through several pages and the print looks different, seeming to indicate at least two directories have been combined in one entry. I did notice the following title pages (or at least what I thought were title pages:

Is anyone familiar enough with the Chicago city directories to know what years are in this "blank" set?

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Blogger Harold said...

(Also posted to APG list)

Yikes! On internal evidence, this appears to conglomerate the 1843 directory, the 1880 directory (which began with a Steinway promotional booklet -- compare
the actual 1880 directory filming), and the 1883 directory (per the
microfilming instructions on the last page) -- or at least, parts thereof. And at least the first couple dozen pages alternate between 1843 and 1880! (As a
sidelight, I see that the actual 1843 directory in its proper listing is presented out of order, with the title page and introductory matter well back
in the sequence.) I didn't find evidence of an 1867 element, but at this point it would hardly be surprising.

Fully untangling this mess would require a good deal of knowledge and time. But if one could somehow fully describe it before Footnote cleans it up, it would be a priceless if rather extreme example of why we can't treat or cite online and microfilm versions as being transparently the same as the print originals!


7:54 AM  

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