Minneapolis history geeks now have a new way to peek into the city’s past.

The Hennepin County Library announced last week that the city’s directories between 1859 and 1917 have been digitized in a searchable format online. Access them at startribune.com/a2130.

The books offer a comprehensive listing of who lived where in the city, their family members and occupations. They also document the past locations of city businesses, peppered between ads for haberdasheries, millers and sign makers.

The digitization of the decaying directories was made possible by a donation from the city’s Professional Librarians Union.

History isn’t hard to find. Page 126 of the 1901 directory, for example, includes a listing for the most-famous corrupt mayor in the city’s history, A.A. Ames. Ames is listed as a “Physician and Surgeon and Mayor city of Minneapolis,” residing at 627 Elwood Av. — north of what is now Harrison Park.

Eric Roper