Izaak Walton (1593-1683), The Compleat Angler
Civil War Horse
Afield in America exhibition
Productive angling is accomplished through learning, either through first hand experiences or through reading the knowledge of others. The Library is the home of a priceless collection of books on fishing with a rod, and most of the historical texts describe the sport of fly-fishing, dating as early as Izaak Walton’s first edition of The Compleat Angler, 1653. Most frequently represented are the legendary streams of England and North America.
Books on foxhunting are among the most popular segments of the Library’s collection, which is fitting in that the Library is located in one of the cradles of the sport in North America. The Library holds a comprehensive collection on British and North American foxhunting and beagling, from Peter Beckford’s 1781 Thoughts on Fox and Hare Hunting, to Ben Hardaway’s Never Outfoxed.
From the first printed book on horsemanship, Federico Grisone’s GliOrdini di Cavalcare (1550), remarkably, it took Grisone’s work only ten years to find its way into English in an abridged translation, The Art of Riding, by Thomas Blundevile, Queen Elizabeth’s Master of the Horse. The Library holds all of the key 16th through 21st century western European and American literature on the art of horsemanship.
Sport shooting on English and western European estates has been a popular country pastime since the 18th century. But the opening of the American wilderness two centuries ago fostered a whole new realm of sporting opportunities. The Library’s collection contains many treasures describing firearms, techniques, hunting reminiscences and favorite hunting grounds the world over.
Enthusiasts of equestrian and field sports love sporting art. Canvases portray favorite horses, beloved hunting dogs, and memorable days of foxhunting, racing, angling and shooting. At the National Sporting Library and Museum, connoisseurs will find an exceptional collection of books and examples of fine American, British, and French sporting paintings and sculpture, dating from the 18th century forward.
The exciting world of steeplechase comes alive at the National Sporting Library and Museum in the form of paintings, prints, and books. The Library holds an extensive collection of steeplechase literature, annuals, scrapbooks, and periodicals covering the extensive history of American and British steeplechasing from the 19th through present day ‘chases.
Insights for the pursuit of Thoroughbred racing, a game full of mystery and excitement, are found at the National Sporting Library and Museum’s collections of art and literature. The Library holds historical and contemporary books, periodicals, and stud books from all over the world dating from the 18th century forward; complemented with paintings, sculpture, and prints by the best of sporting artists.
A Research Center For Horse and Field Sports
The National Sporting Library & Museum, located in beautiful, historic Middleburg, Virginia, is dedicated to preserving, sharing and promoting the literature, art and culture of equestrian, angling and field sports. Founded in 1954, the institution has over 24,000-books dating from the 16th-21st centuries. The John H. Daniels Fellowship program supports the research of visiting scholars. The Museum, a newly renovated and expanded historic building on the Library campus, houses exhibits of American and European fine animal and sporting art. Information is shared through exhibitions, lectures, seminars, publications and special events. The NSLM is open to researchers and the general public.
Museum Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
Library Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m
The NSLM is closed on federal holidays.
In the case of bad weather, the NSLM follows Loudoun County
school district decisions.