From the late-18th century, publishers produced directories of the people, organisations and trades to be found in Brighton and Hove. These directories would often also carry advertising, together with listings of municipal and public services.
Published intermittently at first, by the second half of the 19th century most directories were being produced on an annual basis. Early directories offered scant information about those who lived in the poorer areas of the towns but, over time, their content evolved to list nearly all of the towns' residents.
Directories were discontinued in the mid-1970s due to competition from telephone directories, Yellow Pages and Thompson Local. We have taken this as a convenient cut-off date for the presentation of directory sources 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