Surrey History Centre has a major collection of local, county and national directories, both originals and microfiche copies, going back to the late 18th century. They list the traders, businessmen and principal inhabitants of each town, providing information which is not easily located elsewhere. From 1841 to 1911 they help bridge the gaps between the decennial censuses. The many advertisements they contain are also a good source of illustrative material.
Further details of the directories we hold can be found by searching on the Surrey Libraries catalogue.
There is also a good series of directories for the United Kingdom at the Guildhall Library, Aldermanbury, London EC2P 2EJ. Telephone 020 7332 1868.
Directories for England and Wales can also be viewed on the University of Leicester Historical Directories collection and on Ancestry website.