UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Directories Database, 1772-1787

Title details

SN: 3443
Title: Directories Database, 1772-1787
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-3443-1
Depositor: Corfield, P.J., University of London. Royal Holloway. Department of History
Principal investigator(s): Corfield, P.J., University of London. Royal Holloway. Department of History
Kelly, S.M., University of London. Royal Holloway. Department of History
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council
Grant number: F00232077
Other acknowledgements: The database was established in the computer centre at Bedford College, as it then was, and is now held in the computer centre at Royal Holloway University of London, the successor body to Bedford College.


The citation for this study is:

Corfield, P.J., Kelly, S.M. (1995). Directories Database, 1772-1787. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 3443,

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Subject Categories

Community and urban studies - Society and culture
Economic conditions and indicators - Economics
Economic history - History
General - Employment and labour
Social history - History
Urban history - History


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

This dataset is a study of urban occupations in Britain in the early Industrial Revolution, via analysis of entries in sixteen early urban directories.
Local town directories were produced in increasing numbers from the 1760s onwards. They were ad hoc works, generally providing listings of leading local inhabitants, with their names, addresses and occupations.
The sources used for this database were selected from all large urban centres with early listings. One directory (or relevant section from a directory) was analysed for every urban centre for which such a local publication was produced either in the 1770s or 1780s. In some cases, the selection was simple, as only one such volume was available. Where there were many (as in the case of London or Birmingham), a substantial edition from an appropriate date was chosen. The range of towns investigated was as wide as possible within the British Isles, defined only by the existence of relevant sources. Most of the early directories served the larger urban communities , although not all big cities had them. In addition, a few smaller places were also included, to add to the range of urban centres in the survey. In all the time span covered was a relatively compact period of fifteen years: from 1772 to 1787.
Main Topics:
The main topics covered by these data are: occupations; status designations (eg. gentleman/esquire); urban elites; urban society; directories as a source.
Main Variables
Surname; first name; address; coded occupation; gender; social status.

Please note: this study does not include information on named individuals and would therefore not be useful for personal family history research.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 1772 - 1787 - Manchester (1772); Edinburgh (1773); Liverpool (1774); London/Westminster (1774); Bristol (1775); Newcastle upon Tyne (1778); Birmingham (1780); Norwich (1783); Dublin (1784); Glasgow (1784); Portsmouth (1784); Southampton (1784); Winchester (1784); Shrewsbury (1786); Bath (1787); Sheffield (1787).
Country: England | Ireland | Scotland
Geography: Bath
Newcastle upon Tyne
Dublin (County)
Greater London
Yorkshire West Riding
Spatial units: No information recorded
Observation units: Individuals
Universe: Subnational
Occupations and status designations for all listed individuals in urban directories.
Time dimensions: No information recorded
Sampling procedures: No sampling (total universe)
Number of units: 31768 (target) 31768 (obtained) Line entries
Method of data collection: Transcription of existing materials
Weighting: No information recorded
Data sources: The data were taken from early printed directories, as listed in P.J. Corfield, Guide to directories database, 1772-87.

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 18 December 1995
Copyright: No information recorded
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions of access for further information.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
Study documentation (portable document format) guide.pdf 3505
Unclassified userguide3443.pdf 3505
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_3443_Information.htm 18
READ File read3443.txt 2


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By principal investigator(s):
Corfield, P.J. and Kelly, S., `Giving directions to the town : the early town directories' Urban History Yearbook 1984 pp.22-35.

Resulting from secondary analysis:

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