Annual Register (18th-20th century)
The Annual Register is a year-by-year summary and record of British and world events, published annually since 1758. As well as being a record of events, the Annual Register was originally conceived as a miscellany, reproducing state papers, reviewing important books, and featuring historical sketches, poetry, observations on natural history, and other essays, reproduced from books and periodicals. The early volumes of the Annual Register continued to follow this format. From 1775 the length of the History section was significantly increased, so that it formed the main focus of the publication. After 1815 the usual form became a number of chapters on Britain, paying particular attention to the proceedings of Parliament, followed by chapters covering other countries in turn, no longer limited, as previously, to Europe. The expansion of the History section came at the expense of the sketches, reviews and other essays so that the 19th century publication ceased to have the miscellaneous character of its 18th century forebear. It nevertheless still found space for descriptions of contemporary events ranging in nature from the weather to ecclesiastical appointments, from sporting events to royal engagements, and from murders and suicides to industrial accidents.
The Library holds c. 150 volumes for the years between 1764-1872, there are gaps and some volumes are held in a number of editions. 1758-1778 are freely available online.