City Directories are among the most comprehensive sources of historical and personal information available cover a time frame from the 19th century through the middle 20th century. Their emphasis on ordinary people and common-place events make them important in the study of local and regional history and culture. City Directories are one of the few means available for researchers to uncover information and learn much about day-to-day life through analysis of information on churches, public and private schools, benevolent, literary and other associations, and banks. Finally, most directories include advertising, often illustrating the products being sold. This information lends valuable insight into the city's lifestyles and illustrates popular trends.