From the late-18th century, publishers produced directories of the people, organisations and trades to be found in Brighton and Hove. These directories often carried advertising, together with listings of municipal and public services.
By the second half of the 19th century most directories were being published on an annual basis. Early directories offered scant information about the poor of the town, but evolved over the years to list most of the residents.
Directories were discontinued in the mid-1970s due to competition from telephone directories, Yellow Pages and Thompson Local. We have taken this as our cut-off date for the presentation of directory records so as not to encroach on recent personal histories.
There are various online entries about the development and history of directories. We particularly like the University of Leicester's material available at their Historical Directories website.
A Brighton street directory