List of names and addresses from Edinburgh directory page
Edinburgh directory
page, 18th century.
View larger page

Scottish Post Office directories provide a perfect basis for researching family or town history.

These annual directories include an alphabetical list of a town's or county's inhabitants, called a general directory, enabling you to easily find out where people lived at a certain time.

Towns and counties

Online you can now access 694 directories for the period 1773 to 1911, covering 28 of Scotland's towns and counties. The number in brackets with each place name is the number of directories available.

Street and trades directories

Cook and Wylie's Stirling Directory and Almanac, 1897
Stirling directory title
page, 1897.
View larger Stirling page

As well as the general directory, most of Scotland's Post Office directories include a street directory and a trades directory. They alphabetically list people by their address and professions.

Other lists included

You may often also find a:

  • Bank directory listing banks and banking companies
  • Church directory listing of clergymen and places of worship
  • Conveyance directory listing railways, steamers, carriages, coaches and ferries
  • Educational directory listing educational institutions and teachers by their subject
  • Insurance directory listing insurance companies
  • Law directory listing juridical institutions and practitioners
  • Medical directory listing medical and surgical institutions and practitioners
  • Parliamentary directory listing Chief Officers of State, Peers of Scotland, and Members of Parliament
  • Postal directory listing postal branches, postage rates, post towns and stamp duties
  • Public departments directory listing public institutions and societies.


Drawing of a Victorian woman seated at a typewriter
Advert for typewriter
ribbons, 1890s.
View larger advert

One of the most appealing parts of the Post Office directories is the advertisements, which give a valuable insight into society and lifestyle at that time.

Searchable website in development

By March 2011, you will be able to access over 600 directories here. In summer 2011, we will launch the Scottish Post Office Directories website, where you can search and browse all directories by title, year, place and name.


The extensive coverage of the digitised Scottish Post Office Directories has only been possible by working in partnership with:

Contact us

Should you have any queries or comments relating to our Scottish Post Office Directories project, please contact:

Ines Byrne
Digital Project Officer
Tel: 0131 623 3768

Lee Hibberd
Digitisation Manager
Tel: 0131 623 3765