Tag Archives: directories


Many thanks to Britta Nordström for alerting me to this site.  Business Ukraine (http://biznes-ukraina.ua/) has a useful collection of directories of companies, products and services in Ukraine as well as links to postal codes and transport timetables. There is also a list of  Directories of the world on-line (http://biznes-ukraina.ua/extra.phtml?ttt=1&l=en) that is mostly yellow pages for countries around the world. The market reviews look interesting but the articles are subscription only.

There are Russian, Ukrainian and English language options for many of the sections but you may have to resort to Google’s translation service for some areas of the site.


China Full Directory Kit discount

If you carry out a lot of research on businesses and industries in China you might be interested in the offer currently available from dataresources. For a limited period they are offering 45% discount on SinoMedia’s China Full Directory Kit, which provides information resources required to do business in China. Originally priced at over £1350 the kit is now £750 (+delivery) .

The China Full Directory Kit includes:

  • China Foreign Enterprise Directory 11th Edition 2010 (CD-ROM)
  • China Enterprise Directory 2010 (Book and CD ROM)
  • Top Global 500 Companies in China 2009-2010 (CD-ROM)
  • China Government Organizations Directory 2009-2010 (Book)
  • China MICE Guide 2010-2011 (Forthcoming) (Book)
  • China Financial Services Directory 2010-2011 (Forthcoming) CD-ROM
  • China Logistics Guide 2010/2011 CD-ROM
  • China IT Directory 2010 CD-ROM
  • China Manufacturing Directory 2010 CD-ROM
  • China Media Directory 2010 CD-ROM
  • China Industrial Zones Directory 2010 CD-ROM

Full details can be found at  http://www.dataresources.co.uk/

UK Historical Directories and Newspapers

Someone has just contacted me via Facebook asking how they could track down a company in London. Not a difficult piece of research you might say but the time period was the 1890s!

One resource that immediately sprang to mind was the Historical Directories at http://www.historicaldirectories.org/. This is a digital library, maintained by the University of Leicester, of local and trade directories for England and Wales, from 1750 to 1919. It does not attempt to publish every directory available between 1750 and 1919 but what they do have makes fascinating reading.

I first reviewed it in July 2004 and my initial interest was on the business side as I am sometimes asked how to find information on small, local companies going back 50 to 100 years. I quickly discovered, though, that for my own location (Caversham in Berkshire) the Kelly’s directories for 1914 and 1915 included residential listings. I ended up spending hours researching who had lived in my house, who the neighbours had been and their occupations.

There are several search options including a keywords option that lets you search by any combination of location, decade, key name (directory name e.g. Kelly), your own keywords, and with fuzzy logic on or off (off is the default). For my own searches I found it easier to identify directories in my location and then search them individually, but one of the alternative search options may suit you better. For Berkshire I found Kelly’s, Slater’s and Webster’s directories and there is a “Post Office”  directory for Berkshire, Northamptonshire,  Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Huntingdonshire for 1854!

Historical Directories

For each directory there is a Fact File containing bibliographic information and links to the main chapter headings. When you view the pages that match your search criteria your search terms are highlighted.

The site also supports seriously advanced search options (see http://www.historicaldirectories.org/hd/howto/howto7.asp#detailed for details). For a phrase just type in the words next to one another, for example Star Road. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a person their name may appear as surname, middle name(s), first name. For this type of search there is a “within” operator, for example George w/3 Bloggs will look for George within three words of Bloggs in any order. The wildcard is a question mark (?) and replaces a single character. The asterisk replaces 0 or more characters. Wildcards can be used at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of a word.

For information on who was hitting the headlines in your town in the 1890s you could try the recently launched British Newspapers 1800-1900 at http://newspapers.bl.uk/blcs/. This covers two million pages of 49 local and national 19th century newspapers. There is a basic search option on the home page but the advanced search enable you to search by keyword, publication date(s), place of publication, section (e.g. people, business), publication frequency and language (English or Welsh).

The problems start with the publications that are covered – only 49. Nothing in Berkshire so this is a non-starter for my own local search. Note also that you have to pay to view most of the articles. A 24 hour pass costs £6.99 and allows you to view up to 100 articles. A seven day pass costs £9.99 and gives you 200 article views.

I could not find out what the buzz was in Reading and Caverhsam in the 1800s from the British Library newspaper archive  (perhaps there wasn’t any!),  but what do the directories have to say? According to the 1854 Post Office directory:

“BERKSHIRE, sometimes called Barkshire, and for shortness Berks or Barks, is a southern inland shire, on the south or left bank of the navigable Thames, which forms its northern boundmark, and in the valley of which it lies, approaching within twenty miles of London, and in the middle between the mouth of the Thames at the North Sea and the Bristol Channel. The shire is of very irregular shape…”

And who did live in my house in 1914/1915? Number 88 Star Road, or number 6 Webb’s Cottages as it then was, was home to Charles Herbert and his wife Mary who was a shopkeeper. Neighbours included a wheelwright, carpenter, window cleaner, builder, two pub landlords and an insurance agent. Apart from the wheelwright, not very different from today’s residents!

Masterseek Business Directory

Rearrange the following words into a well known phrase or saying: pole – a – barge – don’t – with – touch.

I picked up the news of Masterseek’s imminent launch from AltSearchEngines. Worth investigating further, I thought, especially as I am always on the lookout for quality business directories.

From their press release:

“A new enormous business search engine battles Yahoo! and Google for B2B searches. Masterseek’s global search engine provides quick and free access to, among other things, company profiles, contact information, and descriptions of products and services from more than 45 million companies in 75 countries. …. Behind Masterseek lies nearly 9 years of diligence from Danish and international programmers.

The unique feature of Masterseek is the specially developed crawlers that can sort out irrelevant private websites automatically and simultaneously gather and index relevant company websites quickly and diversely. This includes company profiles, news, as well as contact and product information. The company information is at the same time in the process indexed in more than 50,000 business categories in 21 languages.”

This sounded promising so time to put it to the test and indulge in a bit of ego-surfing. My first search on RBA Information Services as a company came up with my own RBA, but gave its location as the US despite the co.uk domain name and contact details clearly stated as being in the UK. A quick email to Masterseek and it was corrected. But then it all went seriously pear shaped.

23rd September 2008, 16.48 UK time: search on RBA Information Services and ‘All’ category selected.

Results: At the top of the list is a sponsored result for RBA Enterprises based in the US. Nothing to do with me but I am not too bothered as there are thousands of RBAs around the world. However the web site URL was mine and the profile was mine! Numbers 4, 5 and 6 in the results list were for Sources UK (electric cable manufacturers), RBA Enterprises Inc and  RBA Internet Services Inc. All three had my web site URL and a profile extracted from my web site.

23rd September 2008, 17.08 UK time: search on RBA Information Services and ‘Company’ category selected.

Results: Only two. The first is a ‘sponsored result’ which is me, the correct URL and correct location. The second is identical to the first but the location is given as the United States.

23rd September 2008, 17.15 UK time: search on Karen Blakeman and ‘All’ category selected.

Results:The sponsored result at the top of the list was correct. The next four were totally unrelated companies but with my profile and  there were another four dotted throughout the remainder of the twenty sites listed  on the first page.

23rd September 2008, 17.31 UK time: search on Karen Blakeman and ‘Company’ category selected.

Results: Hurrah! I am the only entry.

I did a few quick searches on other companies and people and the quality of the results was equally dire.

There are additional search and browse options, but I saw no point in investigating them if the underlying data was so horribly wrong. Either the Masterseek “specially developed crawlers” were having a bad day or more serious work needs to be done on processing the information that they gather.

The press release goes on to say:

“Masterseek.com B2B searches will also be a competitor for well-established directories, such as Kompass, Thomson and the Yellow Pages, besides the obvious Yahoo! and Google.”

Given the current appalling quality of Masterseek’s data Kompass, Thomson and Yellow Pages can rest easy, as can Yahoo and Google.

Masterseek’s official global launch is due to take place in November by which time they claim that they will have more than 50 million pieces of company information and more than 1/4 billion indexed websites. Unless they apply more ‘diligence’ to  the quality of the information in their database, my recommendation is to avoid this directory like the plague.

Directories: Major Companies of the World 2008

Seven new Editions of the World’s Major Companies Series have been published by Graham & Whiteside and are now available for purchase on the dataresources web site.

Major Chemical and Petrochemical Companies of the World 2008
This directory covers more than 7,000 of the leading chemical and petrochemical companies worldwide.

Major Energy Companies of the World 2008
More than 4,000 companies involved in coal mining and coal products; electricity supply; fuel distribution; natural gas supply; nuclear engineering; oil and gas exploration and production; oil and gas services and equipment; and oil refining worldwide.

Major Financial Institutions of the World 2008 (2 Vols)
Over 9,000 leading financial institutions worldwide, including banks, investment, insurance and leasing companies.

Major Food and Drink Companies of the World 2008
9,800 of the leading food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink companies worldwide.

Major Information Technology Companies of the World 2008
This directory covers more than 3,100 of the leading information technology companies worldwide.

Major Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Companies of the World 2008
The world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, providing essential business profiles of the international leaders in the industry.

Major Telecommunications Companies of the World 2008
Profiles of more than 3,500 of the leading telecommunications companies worldwide, including many of the top Internet companies.