52 for 150: What’s So Special About Your Library’s City Directories?

For week 29 of our Kansas sesquicentennial video series we’re taking a closer look at our City Directories.

The Topeka Room has an extensive collection of Topeka city directories dating from 1870 to the present. These directories can be helpful in establishing the year a house was built, as well as the names and occupations of previous residents. Some directories are available online: Topeka City Directory, 1874-1875 (A complete transcription of the 1874-1875 Topeka City Directory published by F. H. Woodbury.) Topeka City Directory, 1912 (An indexed scan of an original 1912 Topeka City Directory. Available through DistantCousin.com.)


About 52 for 150

Every object has a story, and stories build history. To celebrate 150 years of Kansas statehood we’re featuring 52 objects (or collections of related objects)—something new each week throughout the year—from the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library’s 130-year-old special, and permanent collections, that represent our collective state history and cultural diversity.

Our collections are available for teachers, students, researchers and general interest, and we hope this online video program will provide insight into what’s so “special” about Special Collections. Your library’s commitment to collecting art and preserving local history makes it possible for users today and in the future to have immediate access to invaluable research material and cultural artifacts.

City Directories are available for reference anytime during library hours in the Topeka Room (785-580-4510) on the Library’s second floor. We’re located at the top of the stairs on your left.

Heather Kearns

I've been the Sabatini Gallery's associate curator since 2004 and social media coordinator since 2008. My passion is helping people “get“ art, and by that I mean creating an environment both in-house and online which fosters a greater understanding, confidence, and sense of enjoyment from the art experience. Art should be easy to access and available to everyone. I take helping people very seriously.