Almanacs

The American Antiquarian Society's almanac collection consists of over 15,000 almanacs printed from 1656 through 1876 in the United States, Caribbean, Canada, and Mexico. About three-quarters of all the almanacs published in North America during this period are at the Society, the only such comprehensive collection in existence. The Society actively acquires missing titles and issues.

The almanac collection at AAS is remarkable not just for its breadth and nearing completeness, but also for its depth and for how well that richness is described. An almanac from the same (or substantially the same) setting of type frequently was issued simultaneously in multiple locations with different publishers credited on the wrappers. AAS collects these “duplicates” because the wrappers contain local advertisements and business information not available elsewhere. Sometime the text, advertisements, or even illustrations have been changed in the main body of the almanac. Also numerous almanacs were published anonymously or pseudonymously, but many of their calculators have been identified through close comparison with other almanacs for the same year and region.

Access

The U.S., Canadian, and Caribbean almanacs are fully cataloged online in the General Catalog using the Genre/Form term "almanacs". Adding other keywords or limiting by date or place of publication will generate a more manageable list.

Approximately 12 linear feet of pre-1876 Mexican almanacs are not yet cataloged. For access to these almanacs, please contact our Readers' Services department or the Curator of Books, Elizabeth Pope.

Resources

Anders, Richard. A Compilation of Material Relating to the Contents and Uses of Almanacs. Worcester, Mass. : s.n., 1994.

Brigham, Clarence. Fifty Years of Collecting Americana. Worcester, Mass.: AAS, 1958: 11-17.

Drake, Milton. Almanacs of the United States. New York: Scarecrow Press, 1962.

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