Directories

02Nov08

Last week, Michael Twyman showed us his collection of directories: books such as early phone directories and lists of world publications.

This is the 1943 French street directory. Over 3,000 pages, including yellow pages advertising. Imagine that being thrown over your front fence! Note the printed advertising on the page edges.

This book was very interesting. It is a directory of the addresses of important people living in London and the way it shows their address is by representing the geographic placement around street shapes. So the bottom of the page shows where people live on a conventionally straight street, and at the top of the page is a where people live around a square.

This was set in moveable lead type. Can you imagine how difficult that must have been to set up?

The Sell’s 1896 Directory of World Newspapers was a very interesting read, especially the pages devoted to Australian publications. Note how many newspapers were published in Sydney in 1896 compared to today’s offering. The Sydney Morning Herald was put out twice a day!

Yes, there are many more options available today for receiving news, but never-the-less, it is depressing to see just how small our news media has become.

In Italy, the publications of 1896 were listed according to their political leanings. I guess “Comical” is another word for “controlled by prime minister“.

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