The Observer's Handbook is a 360-page guide published annually since 1907 by The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Through its long tradition and the expertise of more than 50 contributors, the Observer's Handbook has come to be regarded as the standard North American reference for data on the sky. The material in the Handbook is of interest to professional and amateur astronomers, scientists, teachers at all levels, students, science writers, campers, Scout and Guide leaders, as well as interested general readers. The Observer's Handbook is an integral part of many astronomy courses at the secondary and university levels, and it should be on the reference shelf of every library.
Now the edition that started it all is available online, with introductory text by former Handbook editor Roy Bishop.
No Observer's Handbook was issued in 1909 or 1910, rather predictions were published bimonthly in JRASC:
- One Hundred Editions of the Observer's Handbook,
Roy Bishop (2008) PDF | GIF
- Seventy-five Editions of the Observer's Handbook,
John Percy (1982) PDF | GIF
- The Inside Story of the Observer's Handbook,
Ruth Northcott (1964) PDF | GIF
Number of Pages in The Observer’s Handbook
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What's interesting is that the first period of growth in 1956 was mostly the addition of paid advertising in the extra pages at the back of the handbook. This continued in the coming years, typically 6 to 8 pages, and the advertisements were not always astronomy related. One year there is a quarter-page ad from Bank of Montreal! The biggest change was in 1976, there were the same number of pages, and no ads at all from that issue forward.
—Patrick Kelly, Observer's Handbook Editor 2007-11