A Video showing how to use them:
A key resource for researching the history of Melbourne and Victorian properties, residents, businesses and streets. Indexed and divided into sections by location, name, trade and more.
they're better than a phone book because they show information in both Street order and in person's name order. you could never get street order out of a phone book
Access from this site:
which takes you to each individual directory.
but you have to put in something as a search criteria, can be anything and then in the “select collection”,select Sands and McDougall.
It then gives an icon for each directory for a particular year which you select to see a first PDF of that section of the directory.
there's a section on the left which breaks the whole directory up into multiple PDF files.
Each of the directories show, amongst other things, a list of all streets in Victoria and which page the detailed information is on.
the section bit is broken up in alphabetical order so that you can go to the suburb involved and then scroll through until you find the street you want.
although the PDFs are a scanned graphic of each page of the directory, they have been OCRed meaning that you can search on the text of each PDF as well as copy the text and paste it into something else.
the below article explains how they obtained the information.
amazing this was all done well before the times of computing .must have been a massive task and it's possible one of the reasons the directories stopped being published. perhaps also now, privacy considerations.