Our mission at Newberry genealogy is dual: to provide resources for current local and family history researchers and to ensure the long-term preservation of those resources for future researchers. Occasionally, the needs of the second group outweigh the needs of the first, and such is currently the case with some of our copies of Chicago telephone directories. These mid-twentieth century sources are heavily used, but, unfortunately, they were printed on acidic paper that flakes and disintegrates rapidly with handling.
Over the past few years, and particularly the last few months, we’ve noticed increased flaking in some of our directories. The flaking is so severe that some of them disintegrate at the very touch, and in some cases, the flakes have been large enough that we’ve lost data on the pages. Therefore, we’ve undertaken a comprehensive conservation review of all our directories and have determined that the following ones can no longer be paged at the library:
- 1914, 1922, 1924, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1935, 1939, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1947, and 1955. These years are restricted and are not available for research.
We are actively seeking surrogates or other directory copies. In the meantime, still available at the Newberry are:
- microfilm copies of the Chicago White Pages 1930, 1940, and 1950 on the open shelf
- microfilm copies of city directories from 1914-1917, 1923, 1928/29 on the open shelf
- all Chicago yellow pages and Loop business directories (print)
- all suburban phone books (print)
- both criss-cross directories (1953 and 1955) (print)
- years on either side of an unavailable year (with the exception of the run of 1942, 1943, 1944)
The Chicago History Museum has additional copies available: https://www.chicagohistory.org/research/resources/family
A full list of Newberry city directories, including Chicago telephone directories, can be found at: http://www.newberry.org/city-directories
Please contact us if you have any questions or if you know of any sources for additional copies. We appreciate your understanding, as do your grandchildren..