The historical directories are an important source of social- and cultural history. Not only do they answer questions of our great-grandparents addresses and the inhabitants of specific houses. Also the Royal Public Libraries’ opening hours of 100 years ago, the board of the bee breeding society, or an overview of the newspapers published in Dresden at the time can be found.
Who was looking for answers to these questions so far had to come to the SLUB in person, take out the microfiches of historical directories, and plan to spend quite some time searching directories and housebooks of the years in question.
Therefore, the SLUB, the Municipal Libraries Dresden and the Dresden City Archive mutually initiated a project to digitize and develop the directories. Dresden’s directories mark the starting point; they begin in 1702 and are nearly completely preserved between 1831 and 1943/44. They were digitized by the SLUB center for digitization and were later on equipped with a vast index.
In order to enable users to look for persons and streets, a database contains each street name or name of the person that is listed at the top of each page of directories and housebooks. We were actively supported by volunteers during the process.
The portal was completed by the fall of 2012, making the Dresden directories the first ones completely accessible online. Further places - Bautzen, Blasewitz, Chemnitz, Meißen, Pirna - followed.
However, the project has not been finished, yet - as we have numerous ideas to come. On the one hand, more cities will be incorporated (e.g. Leipzig). On the other hand, we are planning new functions, such as a street name concordance which takes the re-naming of streets into consideration.