In the 1990s when I was just beginning my research, I didn't give much thought to directories. I had imagined they were just like phone books. Wrong! There is so much more in a directory. Don't believe me? See my blog post from June of 2017--In Praise of City Directories. If you are an Ancestry subscriber(or your local library has access) you can browse to a directory of interest and see for yourself. I used the 1940 Nashville Tennessee City directory this past week a great deal. In an effort to save time I found the start of each section and made myself an index of sorts using the image number. This is something I'd recommend doing for any directory you will be browsing thru frequently. Browse the directories. There is so much that isn't indexed. I've noted the image numbers along with the pages for the directory I used last week and I'm including the outline below in case it would be of use to any others who are researching in that area and time period.
Nashville, Tennessee, City Directory, 1940
R. L Polk & Co. Nashville City Directory 1940 [Images 1-748]
- The Alphabetical List of Names pg 37-1040 [Begins on Image 17]
- The Buyers' Guide pg 1-76 [Begins on Image 538]
- The Directory of Householders, including Street and Avenue Guide pg 1041-1273 [Begins on Image 578]
- The Classified Business Directory pg 1353-1444 [Begins on Image 698]