Joseph Whitaker (publisher)

Joseph Whitaker (4 May 1820 – 15 May 1895) was a publisher who founded Whitaker's Almanack.

Early life

Joseph Whitaker was born in London, and apprenticed to a bookseller at the age of fourteen.


After years of experience at various bookselling firms, he undertook his own business as a publisher of theological works. In January 1858 he launched The Bookseller and in 1869 published the first issue of Whitaker's Almanack, a reference annual, which met with immediate (and lasting) success.

In 1874 he published the first edition of the Reference Catalogue of Current Literature, of which several editions have since appeared.

He was the father of fifteen children; the eldest, Joseph Vernon Whitaker was editor of the American Literary Gazette, and later returned to England to become editor of the Bookseller and the Reference Catalogue. Cuthbert Whitaker, the twelfth child, succeeded his father as editor of the Almanack.


Whitaker died at 68 Silver Street, Enfield, on 15 May 1895, where he had lived since 1862. He was buried at West Norwood Cemetery.[1]

References and sources

  1. Carter, Valerie. (Ed.) (2000) Treasures of Enfield: Discovering the buildings of a London Borough. Enfield: Enfield Preservation Society. p. 91. ISBN 0907318169
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