|In this advertisement for a tailor in the 1882 Schenectady City Directory, the entrepreneur boasts that he is "the" tailor in town. Image from the collections of the Grems-Doolittle Library.|
City directories are commercially published compilations of the names, addresses, and professions of people in a city. For history enthusiasts, directories provide a treasure trove of information about a community at a specific time. They are a tremendous resource for a number of research purposes, from genealogical and biographical research, to house history research, to a researching the history of a community, neighborhood, or ethnic enclave.
|Advertisement for the Schenectady Lyceum and Academy, a school for boys, in the 1842 Schenectady directory. the 1842 directory was the first directory to be produced for the city. Image from the collections of the Grems-Doolittle Library.|
The advertisements featured in city directories are also useful. They not only document the businesses and services that existed in a community -- sometimes highlighting long-gone industries; advertisements in directories also provide a look at the art and style of advertising during a particular era.
|The iconic style of the 1950s can be seen in this advertisement for the Schenectady Engraving Company, from the 1952 Schenectady directory. Image from the collections of the Grems-Doolittle Library.|
This blog entry features a number of advertisements from Schenectady city directories from the mid-nineteenth century to the late twentieth century. In their language and imagery, they give modern viewers a peek into Schenectady's past, and we can compare the advertising of yesteryear to the advertising of today.
|This advertisement for the Chamber of Commerce in Schenectady from the 1952 Schenectady directory is unusual in its use of two colors of ink. Image from the collections of the Grems-Doolittle Library.|
Interested in exploring city directories in the holdings of the Grems-Doolittle Library? You can find a complete list of the directories in our holdings by clicking this link. To begin your research, visit our Library or contact our Librarian.
|This ad for the Schenectady Gazette appeared in the 1980 directory. Many of the ads in the 1980s directories target advertisers in addition to consumers. Image from the collections of the Grems-Doolittle Library.|
|Full-page advertisement for the Teller & Sanford hardware store in downtown Schenectady in the 1906 Schenectady directory. Image from the collections of the Grems-Doolittle Library.|