City directories are an invaluable resource for historians, geneaologists, and building researchers, among others. They provide unique data on urban areas including individual and business addresses and telephone numbers, occupations and employers of individuals, and a classified business directory. Many also include "reverse lookup" address and telephone listings. Some also included sections detailing the history and government of the cities and states included in the directory as well as other information of interest to the businesses that were the primary audience of the books. Some early directories were segregated, presenting white and "colored" listings in separate sections or "departments."
Numerous publishers were responsbile for Greensboro, North Carolina, directories in the early years. Some also included listings for the nearby towns of Winston and Salem (now Winston-Salem). By 1903, the Hill Directory Company of Richmond, Virginia, had become the sole publisher of the directories in Greensboro, and would remain so until 1982.
Original volumes of many of the earliest directories (pre-1924) were generously provided for scanning by the Greensboro Public Library and the Greensboro Historical Museum, the North Carolina Digital Hertiage Center and the Internet Archive
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