23 July 2008

Chicago City Directories on Footnote.com

I've been working with the Chicago city directories online at Footnote.com. Footnote currently has Chicago directories online from 1843-1909.

All the current online city directories at Footnote.com can be searched here.

Or you can browse by year from 1843-1909. Personally this is the approach I am using as the last name I am looking for is "Frame." I get too much "stuff" that I do not want searching for just this word alone.

This is the screen that is shown in the image. If you choose the desired year, a search box should show up on the bottom of the page where you can search that specific directory. The nice thing about browsing by year is that it allows you to either search just the specific year you have browsed to, or you can view image by image. The screen shown in this posting would allow the user to search all Chicago city directories at once.

The second screen image shows I have clicked on the 1866 directory and after some navigating on the page section (notice I am at set 289 - 300 of 1612). I want page 415, which starts at T. M. Fox [the names might not be overly clear as I shrunk the image just a little bit to fit on this post--it is BIGGER when you actually search them yourself].

Turns out, good old Thomas Frame was not in Chicago in 1866.

However, skipping to 1880 (only to find him for an illustration)---I know I need to go year by year. I did find two Thomas Frames. The image from the directory is shown in this post.

This is really fun. And for those who want to go "page by page," like I do, don't complain about how long it takes. It takes a while to roll through the microfilm too. The only thing is that this works best on a high speed connection.

Feel free to post searching suggestions for the city directories here. You can see what other city directories Footnote.com has as well besides Chicago.

You can get a free trial with footnote.com if you do not already have a subscription.

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