DIRECTORY, a term meaning literally that which guides or directs, and so applied to a book or set of rules giving directions for public worship. The directorium or ordo of the Roman Church contains regulations as to the Mass and office to be used on each day throughout the year, and the word is found in the Directory for the Publick Worship of God drawn up in 1644 at the Westminster Assembly. The term now usually signifies a book containing the names, addresses and occupations, etc. of the inhabitants of a town or district, or of a similar list of the users of a telephone supply, or of the members of a particular profession or trade. The name Directoire or Directory was given to the body which held the executive power in France from October 1795 until November 1799 (see French Revolution).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)