Although Hutchinson's Nova Scotia Directory for 1864-65 and McAlpine's Halifax City Directory 1868-69 are the earliest provincial and city directories, two business directories pre-date them. Richard P. Nugent's Nugent's Business Directory of the City of Halifax for 1858-59 (1858) includes a list of wharves, railways, newspapers, societies, the Corporation of the City of Halifax and numerous advertisements, as well as a business directory arranged by occupation and profession. Luke Hutchinson's The Halifax, N.S. Business Directory for 1863 (1863) has extensive lists of government offices, the educational, ecclesiastical and legal professions, post offices, army and navy, militia, societies and institutions, newspapers, streets, courts and wharves. This directory also includes an alphabetical index of businesses and a list by trades and professions. Nova Scotia Archives also has late twentieth-century business directories for Halifax and Dartmouth.
McAlpine's Maritime Provinces Business Directory for 1880-81 includes the names of "all business men and women in the cities and provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland." Nova Scotia Archives also has several national business directories, such as:
- Lovell's Business and Professional Directory of...Halifax...Dartmouth...Truro...Yarmouth.. and of All Towns and Banking Villages in the Dominion of Canada for 1896-97 (Montreal, 1896)
- Canada's Manufacturers, Businesses and Professional Record and Gazetteer (Toronto, 1908)
- Dominion of Canada and Newfoundland Gazetteer and Classified Business Directory (Toronto, 1926)