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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington


Information about trade directories in Durham County Record Office.

Trade directories were published from the late 18th century onwards and list the tradesmen and more wealthy inhabitants of each settlement.

Using trade directories gives a brief introduction, prepared by the Record Office in partnership with Durham University.

Durham County Record Office holds directories for:

County Durham

1827, 1828, 1829, 1834, 1848, 1851, 1855, 1865, 1879, 1890, 1902, 1910, 1914, 

1921, 1925, 1929, 1934 and 1938.

Durham City

1846-1915, 1931-1937, 1939, 1951-1953

The city directories include street indexes and Durham Obituaries.

Directories in the Record Office Library - online catalogue.

Digital collections

Historical directories of England & Wales is an online digital library which includes digitised images of 12 County Durham directories.

The Vision of Britain website's descriptive gazetteer combines the full text of four 19th century gazetteers, a total of over 90,000 entries:

  • John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales (1872)
  • Frances Groome's The Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1885)
  • Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837)
  • John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887)

Search for a County Durham place name to find the relevant text. Here is an example for Durham city:

Descriptive gazetteer entries: Durham, County Durham.