Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Local Info, Sometimes Old

Did I mention that we have city directories? Oh my yes we do. Every one of our six buildings carries the current Des Moines City Directory. Handy if you need to know the name of someone in your neighborhood - you can just look up the address and there they are. Also if you have a phone number and can't remember whose it is, the CD has listings by phone number.

At the Central Library we have print directories from 1910 to the current edition, with two exceptions. Due to World War I and World War II, we do not have Des Moines City Directories for 1918 or 1945. On microfilm we have CD's from 1866 to 1935. Some of the old directories on microfilm are arranged up and down rather than left to right. Plus, some reels start with the last page of the directory. Takes some getting used to, but it's kind of enjoyable.

Old city directories are just a treat to browse. They have some advertisements from local companies, they go back in time to an era when telephone numbers started with letters, and you can see who used to live in your house! Hours of entertainment!

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