Difference Between Almanac and Encyclopedia l Almanac vs Encyclopedia


The key difference between almanac and encyclopedia is that the almanac is an annual publication containing astronomical, nautical, astrological or other events of the year whereas the encyclopedia is a single or multi-volume publication that contains authoritative knowledge on many subjects or many aspects of one subject.

Almanac and encyclopedia are two types of reference materials that help us to obtain knowledge on various topics. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate between the two as the contents of these two overlap one another. However, in general, an encyclopedia covers a broader range of information than an almanac.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is an Almanac
3. What is an Encyclopedia
4. Side by Side Comparison – Almanac vs Encyclopedia in Tabular Form
5. Summary

What is an Almanac?

Almanac is a book containing astronomical, nautical, astrological or other events of the year. In other words, this is an annual publication listing the forthcoming events of the year. Some almanacs may also contain historical and statistical information regarding these events. Almanacs provide information on rising and setting times of the sun and moon, tide tables, phases of the moon, the position of planets, and religious festivals. It also includes various other information such as weather forecasts and farmer’s planting dates.

Difference Between Almanac and Encyclopedia l Almanac vs Encyclopedia

Modern-day almanacs are different from traditional almanacs as they include a presentation of statistical and descriptive data covering the entire world, unlike their historical counterparts. World Almanac and Book of Facts, TIME Almanac with Information Please, and The Farmer’s Almanac are some examples. They cover major topics such as demographics, agriculture, geography, government, economics and business, sports and awards.

What is an Encyclopedia?

An encyclopedia is a single or multi-volume publication that contains authoritative knowledge on many subjects or many aspects of one subject. It is a reference work or a concise compilation of a body of knowledge either from all fields or one particular field. It is divided into entries or articles and arranged alphabetically by article name. Encyclopedia entries are typically longer and more descriptive than dictionary entries. They often contain a summary of the factual information on the relevant entry.

Difference Between Almanac and Encyclopedia l Almanac vs Encyclopedia

Encyclopedias come in all sizes, from a single 200-page volume written to huge sets of 100 volumes or more. They can be general, containing entries on topics in every discipline; for example, Encyclopædia Britannica. Or it can be about various aspects of one disciple; for example, encyclopedias on religions, medical encyclopedias, etc.

The development of technology has given rise to a new type of digital and open-source encyclopedia, which uses different methods of data collection, verification, summation and presentation. Encarta, Everything2, and Wikipedia are some examples of these online encyclopedias, which allow users to access data free and within a few seconds.

What is the Difference Between Almanac and Encyclopedia

While almanac is an annual publication containing astronomical, nautical, astrological or other events of the year, the encyclopedia is a single or multi-volume publication that contains authoritative knowledge on many subjects or many aspects of one subject. This is the key difference between almanac and encyclopedia. Furthermore, the almanac is usually published as a single volume whereas the encyclopedia can contain a single volume or multiple volumes. Thus, encyclopedias usually have broader coverage than almanacs. Moreover, the almanacs present forthcoming events of the year as well as statistical and descriptive data regarding various topics whereas the encyclopedias present entries on topics in every discipline or entries on various aspects on a specific discipline.

The below infographic presents the difference between almanac and encyclopedia in tabular form.

Difference Between Almanac and Encyclopedia l Almanac vs Encyclopedia

Summary – Almanac vs Encyclopedia

Both almanacs and encyclopedias are reference materials that help us to obtain various information. The difference between almanac and encyclopedia is that the almanac is an annual publication with astronomical, astrological or other events of the year whereas the encyclopedia is a single or multi-volume publication that contains knowledge on many subjects or many aspects of one subject.

Reference:

1. “Almanac.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Aug. 2018. Available here  
2. “Encyclopedia.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Aug. 2018. Available here 

Image Courtesy:

1.”Almanac tabs open view”By Trevor_MacInnis – Own work, (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2.”Encyclopedia Britannica (crop)”By WestportWiki  (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia  

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