The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Researchers Now Can Access Oldest City Directories Online

November 4, 2022 —  Researching the histories of a Springfield family or business?

An expanded research tool was just added to the Springfield-Greene County Libraries’ digital archive to make that easier. The public can now access Springfield’s earliest City Directories from 1890, 1899, 1901-1917, and 1919-1920.

 The books have been made keyword-searchable, making it possible for those interested in family history and those researching their home and businesses. The directories can be found at:

City directories provide personal information for household members such as name, occupation and address. They also include businesses and business advertisements. Some directories provide two index listings: an alphabetical listing by residents’ surname, and an alphabetical listing by street and dwelling number.

The Library District has a comprehensive collection of Springfield city directories as well as various years of directories for Greene County and some surrounding cities in print form. Copyright restrictions determine which directories can be published online, and this online collection will be updated as copyright allows.

 “The Library’s city directory collection is an immensely valuable research tool,” said Brian Grubbs, the Library District’s Local History & Genealogy manager. “They allow researchers to trace families and businesses year-by-year, as they move in and out of the city. The street and dwelling number index provides an opportunity to discover who was living in a residence throughout its history.”

In 1947, Springfield officials decided to renumber many of the dwellings and rename some of the streets in the city to improve uniformity and consistency. This decision made it easier for firefighters and mail carriers to find residences and business throughout Springfield, but made researching homes and businesses in Springfield more difficult. For example, 415 Mitchell St. became 415 E. Olive St. in 1947; and 810 E. McDaniel St. became 1008 E. McDaniel St.

Local History & Genealogy staff can help you identify your pre-1947 address, and are currently developing a tool to make this research easier.

“Our staff is building an address conversion database that will quickly convert pre-and post-1947 addresses to their respective counterparts,” Grubbs said. “This online tool will be part of a larger house history research page unveiled next year. In the meantime, contact Local History & Genealogy and we can help you discover your home’s history.”



Kathleen O'Dell
Community Relations Director
(417) 616-0564
Sarah Jane Rosendahl
(417) 616-0566

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