Adam & Charles Black

Adam & Charles Black were two Scottish brothers who established the publishing house A & C Black in Edinburgh in 1807. The firm has a rich history. Notably, they have published the renowned Who’s Who since 1849 and the seventh, eighth, and ninth editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1827-1903). The seventh edition was obtained from Archibald Constable following his company’s failure to publish it. Despite Adam Black’s initial disapproval, the ninth edition became a tremendous success, selling half a million sets in 24 volumes.

From 1839, A & C Black published a renowned series of travel guides called Black’s Guides. Other notable publications include Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly novels, Black’s Medical Dictionary, and the Know The Game series, providing the rules for specific sports. Most famous are perhaps the A & C Black Colour Books: Twenty Shilling Series, published between 1901 and 1921. These high-quality collectible picture books continue to be highly desired by bibliophiles.

In 1889, the company relocated to London’s Soho district. In 2000, A & C Black was purchased by Bloomsbury Publishing, who have continued producing their well-known range of reference works.

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