Background & Physical Collection
A City Directory lists the names of individuals living within a city along with their place of residence and occupation. Beginning with the 1911 edition, names of spouses and children over 18 were also included. In 1913, a street index was added to the City Directory. This is the feature which will be most helpful to persons researching their house since it allows the searcher to look up a specific address and find who was living there.
The San José Public Library holds all known published San José City directories from 1870-1970. These are available for research in the California Room. San José City Directories 1870-1960 are also available on microfilm in the California Room.
In addition, we also have copies of directories for other nearby cities, such as Santa Cruz, Gilroy, and Palo Alto. We do not have all years for these cities. Please refer to the library catalog for a complete listing of city directories held by the SJPL California Room.
For more information about our collection of city directories, and how to use them, please visit the California Room website.
The Digital Collection
This collection currently includes the San Jose City Business Sections for the years 1870-1918 as well as the complete 1870 and 1920 City Directories which are searchable.