Provincial directories were occasional publishing ventures — but they are invaluable research tools nevertheless. All are on microfilm except for McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory for 1868-69 [F91 N85 M11 1868-69] and McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory for 1870-71 [F129 M11 M33] which are in hard-copy format only. Holdings at Nova Scotia Archives include the following:
With the exception of McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory for 1868-69 and Lovell's Province of Nova Scotia Directory for 1871 (arranged by community, in alphabetical order), these provincial directories are arranged by county and since Nova Scotia has eighteen, be prepared either to know or to figure out which one your family lived in, before you start reading! The counties are presented in alphabetical order; a surname listing for the county/shire town normally leads off, followed by similar listings for other large towns within the county. Then comes a long list of residents living within the county generally, each name followed by occupation and name of the closest community. Don't expect to find everyone you're looking for these provincial compilations are notoriously incomplete!
See the section above on City and Town Directories for some information regarding additional content sometimes found in the provincial compilations.
Nova Scotia Archives — https://archives.novascotia.ca/directories/provincial/
Crown copyright © 2022, Province of Nova Scotia.