The Dover Public Library has initiated a preservation project to digitize Dover’s historic City Directories and is pleased to announce that twelve 19th century directories, from the years 1865—1888, are now available for public searching online. Dover City Directories, printed about every two years since 1830, contain valuable information about residents, street locations, occupations, and businesses existing in a certain time period. Directories are often used by researchers, historians, and genealogists, and by those seeking to determine the age of a house and its occupants over time. Directories can also help trace the history of local commercial establishments and retailers.
“Dover City Directories Online” is available through the Dover Public Library’s website: http://library.dover.nh.gov. Just click on the link about midway down the list. There is no login or password required and the site is open to everyone to search. The database is searchable by year or keyword (such as name, street address, or occupation) and is very easy to use. Several of the directories also contain information about Somersworth, Great Falls (Rollinsford), and Rochester so those in neighboring communities may find this database helpful as well.
The Dover Public Library plans to add about a dozen new directories to this database every year, seeking to save this most valuable information in an easily accessible digital format while preserving the fragile print originals from further deterioration. For more information or additional instructions, please call the Dover Public Library’s Reference Desk at 603-516-6082.