Directories provide information on local communities. They can help to fill in gaps between censuses.
They contain descriptions of parishes, towns and villages. They include institutions such as the church and local government. As well as lists of well-to-do private residents, trades and professions, and also advertisements.
Travelling tradesmen in the 18th and 19th centuries used directories for commercial purposes.
You can search Trade Directories at Historical Directories. Or you can use subscription websites including Ancestry and Find my Past. You can access Ancestry for free at Hampshire Record Office and several Hampshire libraries. Find my Past is available in all Hampshire libraries.