PHOENIX – From Bisbee and Warren to Flagstaff and Holbrook, the towns and counties of Arizona have grown since the days of the territory. To see just how much they have changed, one only needs to look through the City Directories of Arizona collection on the Arizona Memory Project. Filled with early phone numbers and addresses of residents as well as business advertisements, city directories provide a glimpse of what life was like in the big cities, hamlets and boomtowns of Arizona. These city directories are some of the most used physical materials from the State of Arizona Research Library’s holdings and are now available online for free on the Arizona Memory Project and FamilySearch.org.
"Our city directory collection contains a treasure-trove of information about the people and places that shaped Arizona’s communities from territorial days to the present,” said State of Arizona Research Library Assistant Administrator Kori Tueller. “They are extremely valuable to serious researchers looking for a specific person, like an ancestor, or the history of a property. They are also fascinating to browse. You can get a sense of what life was like as you see the names of neighbors, the real estate vacancies, the businesses and how they advertised their services, and the cultural and civic organizations that supported the community. It’s like opening up a time capsule.”
Digitization of these city directories comes courtesy of a partnership between the State of Arizona Research Library and FamilySearch International. Researchers using the City Directories of Arizona collection will be able to browse directories from the 1880’s to the early 1960’s indefinitely and view using any digital device at http://go.azsos.gov/azcitydirectories.
For questions about this or any digital collection, or for cultural institutions interested in sharing collections on the Arizona Memory Project, contact [email protected].
The Arizona Memory Project provides free online access to the wealth of primary sources in Arizona archives, museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions. The Arizona Memory Project is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.