A HISTORY OF WHITAKER’S ALMANACK
almanack or almanac: an annual publication that includes a calendar for the year as well as astronomical information and details of anniversaries and events.
1820 Joseph Whitaker, the son of a silversmith, is born.
1850s Joseph Whitaker becomes an editor at The Gentleman’s Magazine, and establishes The Bookseller (today a leading magazine for the book trade).
1868 Whitaker’s Almanack is published for the first time on 10 December 1868 (dated for the following year as a result of the astronomical data). It’s a resounding success — the Almanack has to be reprinted with total sales reaching 60,000 copies.
1878 Just ten years after the first edition the Almanack earns a place in the time capsule buried beneath Cleopatra’s Needle on London’s Embankment, alongside a set of contemporary coins and a copy of The Times newspaper.
1895 Joseph Whitaker dies and is succeeded by his son Cuthbert, later Lt.-Col. Sir Cuthbert Whitaker, who edits the Almanack for 55 years.
1940 A bombing raid on the City of London on 29 December strikes the premises in Warwick Lane, obliterating almost all of the records and destroying Sir Cuthbert’s reference library. The Almanack publishes as usual.
1950 Sir Cuthbert Whitaker dies and F.H.C. (Tom) Tatham takes over the editorship (although Sir Cuthbert’s son Haddon is chairman and Editor-in-Chief), staying in the post until 1981.
1953 The Almanack contains its first coloured illustration (a portrait of the Queen as the frontispiece to celebrate her coronation in 1953). Whitaker’s Almanack first uses photographs (of the coronation) in the 1954 edition.
1981 Whitaker’s Almanack 1981 is the first edition to be typeset by computer.
1993 Whitaker’s Almanack is completely redesigned for its 125th birthday.
1997 The Almanack is bought by the Stationery Office (TSO), marking the end of 130 years of its publication by the family company, J. Whitaker & Sons Ltd.
2002 The Almanack moves to a new home at A&C Black, a subsidiary of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc and the publisher of .
2011 Operating from Bedford Square, Whitaker’s Almanack is published directly by for the first time, following a restructuring of the company.
2013 Whitaker’s 2014 was released on 7 November, and for the first time in its 145-year history the qualifying word ‘Almanack’ was dropped from the title.
2016 Whitaker’s 2017 was published on 17 November and for the first time Whitaker's becomes fully available as on online resource.