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I am searching 1900-1910 city Directories for Manhatten,the New York public library digitized these and they are available for view at thier digital Collections website here is 1901 What I can't figure out is how to get to a certain page (image), for example page 2700? Anyone with experience? Messages to NYPL have gone unanswered.

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    Using the "Jump to" box, I was only able to navigate as far as page 1662 (in 100 page steps), but not beyond that. Choosing 'next 100' then has no effect on the page displayed. I think that may just be the worst example of UI design that I have seen in recent years. – sempaiscuba Sep 25 at 18:56
  • It's a crowded field @sempaiscuba but I think that I agree. – AdrianB38 Sep 26 at 14:49
  • I've added an update to my answer. – Jan Murphy Sep 26 at 22:16
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Update: I tried looking at a different directory, specifically:
New York City directory, 1903/04 (Trow's general directory of the boroughs of Manhattan and Bronx, city of New York)

The drop-down offers to show you batches of 100 pages "of 3,150 pages".

The last page appears to be image 1625. The last image looks like the back cover of the directory. Based on this, I'd say you can't depend on the "of NNNN" number in the drop-down list.

I tried to find copies of this directory at the Internet Archive to compare their copies with the NYPLs. Several of the Trow directories seem to have been published in parts (not surprising if the directory is 1600+ pages). I haven't done a side-by-side comparison yet, so it's not clear to me if any given year was offered in two different formats (one in parts, one not).

If your page number 2700 comes from a table of contents, could it be that the table of contents covers a multi-part volume, and the other part is not in the NYPL's collection?

From looking at this, I'm not sure if what we have is an instrumentation problem or a missing-data problem. Both your 1901 directory and the one I linked to end with the section of the Borough of the Bronx followed by a Catalogue of Directories published by Trow, and what appears to be the back-cover advertisement. What prompted you to look for page 2700?

My original answer is below the line.


This is a "negative findings" report.

The NYPL's viewer is visually similar to the viewer at the Internet Archive -- however, the viewer at the Internet Archive has more features and is not as 'locked down'. I was not able to locate the Trow 1901 General Directory of Manhattan there, so I used the 1905 Trow's general directory of the boroughs of Manhattan and Bronx, city of New York for my experiment.

Comparison 1: At the Internet Archive, the URL ends in the string 'page/n' followed by a page number. (The number refers to the image number, not the printed page in the book.) A viewer can skip ahead to any page by entering a different page number in the URL. This hack doesn't work at NYPL -- the reader returns to Page 1.

Comparison 2: At the Internet Archive, you can quickly jump around in a book by using the slider at the bottom of the screen. In the NYPL's viewer, dragging the slider jumps you to the bottom of the 100-page lot corresponding to what's in the drop-down list, after which the slider jumps back to a place near the end of the slider range. Pushing the slider to the end again takes you to the end of the next batch of 100 pages, and so on. There is no quick way to get to the end of the volume and work backwards from there.

Comparison 3: At the Internet Archive, one can often download the entire directory for works from this period. The NYPL viewer only offers a download of a single page, which is useless when you can't navigate to the page you need.

Workaround: I tried looking for the same directory on other sites, but I was unable to turn up this particular directory with a quick search. Miriam J. Robbins' site for Historical Online Directories has a page for New York City, New York Online Historical Directories but I don't see a link for any 1900/1901 directories.

A catalog search in WorldCat was frustrating also because the date of publication for each directory is buried in the full listing or sometimes displayed in very small type underneath the image. DPLA has a listing which sends you back to the NYPL viewer.

Looking for the same directory elsewhere doesn't answer your question about how to use the NYPL's viewer. What I was hoping to do is find your directory elsewhere so I could confirm that the end of the directory has been digitized or not. My experience using Ancestry's U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 has taught me that some directories span two microfilm rolls, and it's possible to find cases where only the first half or last half of a given directory is available for viewing online. I did not see your directory in a quick check via the Browse box.

If I can find out more about this particular directory, I'll come back and update this answer.

Still unexplored: Hathi Trust, Google Books, Genealogy Book Search aka Gengophers, Cyndi's List, The Ancestor Hunt, FamilySearch: Books, fold3's Non-military Records and so on.

Update: I tried looking at a different directory, specifically:
New York City directory, 1903/04 (Trow's general directory of the boroughs of Manhattan and Bronx, city of New York)

The drop-down offers to show you batches of 100 pages

The last page appears to be image 1625. The last image looks like the back cover of the directory. Based on this, I'd say you can't depend on the "of NNNN" number in the drop-down list.

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    Oh good. It's not just me being a stupid Brit, failing to understand the Big Apple. I haven't tried it recently but 100 page leap limits are what I remember. I think that I worked from Ancestry in the end - nothing like as complete in theory, but it works. – AdrianB38 Sep 26 at 14:47
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    The difficulty is when you're trying to explore a set of directories, in the same way that you would look at a set of tax rolls in the USA, you may need a specific year to fill in a gap. I am assuming that BobE wants this specific directory year and has already looked at the nearby years. – Jan Murphy Sep 26 at 17:48
  • Agreed Jan, can't rely on the "of NNNN" - NYPL's viewer leaves much to be desired, The Internet Archives was much more "friendly" - thanks so much for the guidance. – BobE Sep 27 at 14:54
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My "go to" site for old city directories is the Internet Archive (archive.org). When I searched for "Manhattan Directory" and 1900-1910, I got 39 different directories.

https://archive.org/search.php?query=Manhattan+directory&&and[]=year%3A%221910%22&and[]=year%3A%221909%22&and[]=year%3A%221908%22&and[]=year%3A%221907%22&and[]=year%3A%221906%22&and[]=year%3A%221905%22&and[]=year%3A%221904%22&and[]=year%3A%221903%22&and[]=year%3A%221901%22&and[]=year%3A%221900%22

And you can download them as PDF!

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