Directories - Introduction

The Heritage Center has an unusually complete collection of directories for Fresno County cities and towns, and for other localities in California and the West. A list of holdings is available. They are available on microfilm, though more recent editions may be available in hard copy form.

  • Countywide directories, either singly or in combination with other counties, are available for most years except for 1874-1880, 1885-1888, 1897, 1899, 1930, 1943, 1945-1946, and 1948.
  • The Polk-Husted Company (later, R.L. Polk) began publishing the most-familiar Fresno directory in 1907. It covered all or most of the county until 1957, when it became a Fresno City-only directory. In 1973, it began including Clovis listings again.
  • After Polk ceased covered the entire county, it briefly published directories for Selma-Kingsburg-Fowler, Sanger, and Reedley. Starting in 1973, the Haines Criss-Cross Directory resumed publishing countywide listings, and also included complete coverage for Madera, Kings and Tulare counties.
  • The first Fresno County telephone directory appeared in 1909 and also covered Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced and Tulare counties.
  • Starting in 1946, Fresno City gained its own telephone book, with the rural Fresno County communities staying in the six-county directory. Clovis was reuited with the Fresno book in 1964.
  • The rural telephone directory was pared down to Fresno-Madera-Mariposa-Merced in 1953, and Fresno-Madera in 1984.