Whitaker's Almanack is a reference book, published annually in the
United Kingdom. The book was originally published by J Whitaker & Sons from 1868 to 1997, then by The Stationery Office, and since 2003 by A & C Black, part of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Almanackconsists of articles, lists and tables on a wide range of subjects including education, the peerage, governmentdepartments, health and social issues, and the environment.
The largest section is the countries directory, which includes recent
history, politics, economic information and culture overviews. Each edition also features a selection of critical essays focusing on events of the previous year. Extensive astronomical data covering the forthcoming year is published at the rear of the book.
Whitaker's Almanack is not an
encyclopediabut more of a yearbookof contemporary matters and a directory of various establishments in the UK(such as clubs, public bodies and universities).
Whitaker's was prized enough that
Winston Churchilltook a personal interest in the continued publication of the book after its headquarterswere destroyed in The Blitz[http://www.whitakersalmanac.co.uk/ Whitaker's Almanack website] , accessed 28 September 2006] ; a copy is also sealed in Cleopatra's Needle on the north bank of the River Thames.website]
Each year's Almanack is published in two formats - the Standard
Editionand a shortened Concise Edition. In previous years, a larger-format of the Standard Edition, bound in leather, was produced for libraries. Both editions were redesigned in 1993 and 2004 to increase the page size and improve legibility.
The Almanack's current Editor-in-Chief is Inna Ward, whilst former editor Hilary Marsden contributes to the "Countries of the World" section.
Editors since 1868
* F H C Tatham 1950-1981
* Richard Blake 1981-1986
* Hilary Marsden 1986-1999
* Lauren Simpson 1999-2004
* Inna Ward 2004-present
*Whitaker's Almanack 2006, ISBN 0-7136-7018-5
* [http://www.whitakersalmanack.com/ Whitaker's Almanack website]
* [http://www.acblack.com/Catalogue/details.asp?sku=1421931&dept%5Fid=6 ACBlack.com]
* [http://www.whitaker.co.uk/nbd/about_group.asp Neilsen BookData, formerly J Whitaker and Sons]
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