Digitized Brooklyn City Directories

We have digitized 31 years of Brooklyn city and business directories, covering a period from 1856 to 1908.  Most of these were printed by the J. Lain Company of Brooklyn, and include not only listings of citizens but also street guides, advertisements, and listings for government agencies and social services. 

We also have microfilm copies of directories spanning from 1796 to 1986.  To check our holdings of these, please consult the guide to our Brooklyn City Directories and Telephone Directories on Microfilm, 1796 to 1986 collection, available on the Finding Aids page.

Directories list

Each directory is a PDF file and will open in a separate window.  The files are large and may take a few minutes to load, depending on your Internet connection. 

To search for specific people or businesses, type keywords into the search bar in your PDF reader once you've opened a directory. If a keyword search doesn’t turn up expected results, we recommend that you also scroll down into the alphabetical listings to search for the name, as the text-recognition software is not perfect.