Post Office Directories (POD) Guide [PDF Version]

Each Post Office Directory address in AddressingHistory is listed in a standard format:

Post Office Directory address listing


This is the name of the addressee. It may be a personal name, a business name or an organisation name as all of these may be listed in the directories, for example:

  • Personal Name: P. Macdonald
  • Business Name: James Middlemass & Co.
  • Organisation: The University

Post Office Directory

This indicates which of the Post Office Directories the listing is taken from. Clicking on the directory year will take you to the associated Internet Archive page where you can browse the full volume.

There are nine Post Office Directories included in AddressingHistory at present covering: 1785-5 (Edinburgh only); 1865 (Edinburgh only); 1881 (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow); 1891 (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow); 1905-6 (Edinburgh only).

Contact us about this entry

If you are not logged in or would prefer not to register with AddressingHistory you can contact us to suggest a correction to the data by clicking the Contact us... button which will take you to a Contact form where you can let us know about any errors or concerns about the entry.

Edit this entry

If you are not logged into AddressingHistory This button will appear greyed out. Click on the "login" link in the upper right hand corner of AddressingHistory to either login or register for the site.

Once you are logged into AddressingHistory you can submit edits to the entry - including the geo-reference for the entry and any transcription errors - by clicking the "edit this entry" button (which will no longer be greyed out):

Post Office Directory address listing

Google Geo-Location

Google Geo-Location

This is the geo-location that has been automatically associated with the address listed in the POD. We know that many of these are good geo-locations but there are road names, city developments and other factors which mean that many addresses will not yet have a geo-location or will have been assigned an incorrect geo-location. This is the reason that not all addresses in AddressingHistory will correspond to a pin on the map.

In some results you will see records with multiple geo-locations and pins on the map. This usually reflects multiple addresses found in the relevant POD entry as it was common to list both home and workplace addresses, multiple business addresses, etc.

Google Geo-Location Accuracy

Because the Google geo-locations have been assigned automatically they may not be correct. The accuracy rating is an attempt to indicate how likely it is that the address is correct. A rating of 0/5 is a very likely to be an incorrect location but a rating of 5/5 is a very likely to be a correct location.

Crowd-sourced Geo-location

Crowd-sourced Geo-location

This is the location manually associated with an address submitted by AddressingHistory users. No accuracy rating is given to this location but the words ''NOT SET'' will show that no user has yet added a new geo-reference this POD entry.


The profession is provided as it is listed in the PODs. Many entries do not contain information on profession and where they are listed professions are often inconsistently described. To help with this a list of frequently mentioned professions in the first set of Edinburgh can be found on the FAQ page. We have also attempted to map historic professions to the modern UK Standard Industrial Classification.

To view the classification of a particular entry please view or download the record in JSON, Text or KML (viewable in Google Earth) using either the website or API. Look for the "Category" and a letter will be shown corresponding to the appropriate UK Standard Industrial Classification. As some profession names and roles have changed significantly over time these classifications may not be accurate but should provide a helpful starting point for those using the POD data in their research.


This is the address as shown in the PODs. Most will appear accurately but there are occasions where small errors appear in the text or multiple addresses are listed in one entry.

View Original Directory Page

Clicking on this link will let you view the whole scanned POD page on which this entry appears.

View Original Directory Page

Download in...

Clicking the links will trigger a download of the current POD entry in one of three formats:

Download in JSON, TXT, KML


This download is a file in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format which will be of use to those interested in reusing the AddressingHistory data in other web tools and their own mashups.


This download is provided as a comma separated text file which can be read on any computer. The download includes the entry and the relevant location coordinates. In addition to being usable in any word processing program the text files are comma separated so that they can also be imported into spreadsheets.


KML files contain geographically referenced information - in this case the full POD entry - and can be viewed and edited in mapping and visualisation tools including Google Earth.

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