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The modern counterpart are telephone directories.
=== History ===
The first directories were published in London (1677) and Paris (1692) and the first German directory, published in 1701, was modelled after them. It was only in the last third of the 19th Century that the directories began to be more reflective of the whole population, listing the heads of households with their residential address, industries and commercial undertakings with their business address, public institutions (especially hospitals, schools and public amusement places), religious organisations, political parties. Many published maps of the growing cities and might be prefaced with a history of the place or an essay proclaiming the achievements of the town.
=== Finding a Directory ===
Using a German-language-specific search engine (i.e. search for " [town name] + Adressbuch" or "town name] + historisches Adressbuch".
==== FamilySearch Catalog ====
The Family History Library has some German city directories. Most date from the 1830s to the mid-1900s. They are listed in the Place Search of the catalog under:
Another way to find city directories is to use Keyword Search. Type "[town name] + Adressbuch " in the search field.
==== GenWiki Portal and Project ====
GenWiki has an "''Adressbücher"'' (directory) portal.
*[ Historic Addressbooks Database: Search] (English interface).
==== Ancestry ====
Ancestry has an [ indexed collection of mostly German address books] (directories). It can be found by typing "address books" in the Card Catalog title search field.
==== WikiSource ====
The German instance of WikiSource includes an article titled "[ Adressbücher"] (address books). The article includes sections on regional and town address books with links to each volume. The books available on the ComGen website are not included in this listing, so that needs to be searched separately. The article includes German-language books from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.
==== Digital Libraries ====
A list of digital libraries by towns, regions, states, and countries is found on the [ German Digi Bib] homepage. It is a good idea to check libraries on all levels of jurisdiction. Here are examples of several digital libraries that have a collection of town/ city directories.
*[ Bavarica] search the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek relating to Bavaria, published up to the year 1870. Full text searching.
*[ Munich Digitization Center (MDZ)] - holdings include ober 100 directories
==== State Calendars ====
*[ Court Almanacs / Staatskalender]a- collection of Cocrt Alaanacs and Stste Cacendars in(including personel rosters) from several German states.
==== Particular Places ====
===== Aachen =====
[ Aachener Adressbücher] from 1850.
===== Bayreuth =====
*[ Bayreuther Hausnummern-, Adreß- und Einwohnerbücher - Einführung] Rainer-Maria Kiel, "Bayreuth House numbers, address books and residents, 1807 - 1937" (2007, Bayreuth, University Library). A list of Bayreuth directories with an introduction by Rainer-Maria Kiel. (In German)
*[ Bayreuth Directories] digitised and downloadable at the Library, Bayreuth University. (In German)
===== Berlin =====
The Central and Regional Library, Berlin (ZLB) digitized Berlin address books from 1799 to 1943. Now the digital address books are offered free on the Internet for viewing. You will find residents by name, streets as well as directories of industry, government agencies, associations. A keyword search and systematic search are possible, but not a full text search.
*[ Berliner Adressbücher] In German and English.
===== Freiburg =====
*[ Adressbücher der Stadt Freiburg] from 1798.
===== Heidelberg =====
The Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg in co-operation with the Heidelberg City Archives has digitised and placed online the '''Adressbücher der Neckarstadt''' for the years 1839 to 1945.
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