Preserving, sharing and promoting the literature, art and culture of equestrian, angling and field sports.

 

Sunday Sketch 2013 - 2014
Last Sunday of each month. Free.
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Bring drawing materials to sketch exhibits in an informal setting. Open to all ages. 
Questions? Please call  – 540-687-6542 ext.27
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National Sporting Library & Museum

Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Library: Free | Museum Free to NSLM Members

General Admission: Adults $10, Seniors (65 and older) $8, Youth (13–18) $8, Youth (12 & under) Free

Free Wednesdays and the last Sunday of each month.

The NSLM is closed on federal holidays. 
In the case of bad weather, the NSLM follows Loudoun County school district decisions.

102 The Plains Road
Middleburg, Virginia 20118-1335
Telephone: (540) 687-6542
Fax: (540) 302-8052

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THE ONLINE CATALOG

Access the Online Catalog

The following resources are useful for successfully navigating the online catalog:

 

Some recent acquisitions have not yet been catalogued. Please contact Librarian John Connolly at jconnmailto:jconnolly@nsl.org if you have questions about the availability of a particular title. Inventories of the uncataloguedWoolums Collection and partially-catalogued Littauer Collection are provided below under "Rare Book Collection."

THE GENERAL STACKS

The National Sporting Library collection includes more than 24,000 volumes on horse and field sports. The main collection is divided by subject. Some  of the larger divisions cover horse racing, sporting art, foxhunting and horsemanship. Also represented are such specialized topics as angling, beagling, falconry, sport shooting and steeplechasing.
The Library also has collections of related fiction, such as the works of Will James, R.S. Surtees, and Irish lady writers Somerville and Ross. Some of these works have been featured as highlights of the collections in various NSL newsletters. 

This rare and beautiful manuscript, circa 1600 by the Italian Valerio Piccardini, is a recent acquisition by the Library.

The National Sporting Library & Museum is in the business of collecting books, not selling them (with the exception of our annual duplicate book sale), and, as a 501C(3) organization, cannot offer appraisals.

RARE BOOK COLLECTION

The Library also has a number of special collections. Most of these collections contain rare books on horsemanship, field sports, and related subjects. Some of the special collections are:

  • The V.S. Littauer Collection includes rare and contemporary books on horsemanship donated by Andrew and Anya Littauer, heirs of the Capt. Vladimir S. Littauer Estate. Capt. Littauer was one of the foremost proponents of forward riding, and brought it from Europe to America in the first half of the 20th century. His collection documents a comprehensive history of educated riding with more than 250 books and pamphlets, collections of Littauer’s published articles, boxes of correspondence with leading authors, editors, and horsemen, and films based on Littauer’s own horsemanship books. Books date from a rare 1555 edition of Italian Federico Grisone’s book on horsemanship, GliOrdini di Cavalcare to books written by Littauer and others in the 20th century. This collection is still being processed, so not all titles are currently in the card catalogue. For more information on its contents, please contact Librarian Lisa Campbell at lcampbell@nsl.org.

Read article in Fall 2006 Newsletter on acquisition of Littauer Collection.

Read biography of V.S. Littauer in Summer 2004 Newsletter by Paul Cronin.

The Ludwig Hünersdorf Collection.This collection was formerly owned by the family of German riding master Ludwig Hünersdorf (1748-1812), and includes many rare books on early equitation theory, horse care and more. It includes a first edition (1550) of Grisone. Copies of Methodeet Invention Nouvelle de Dresser les Chevaux (1657) by William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle and Ecole de Cavalerie (1733) by Francois Robichon de la Gueriniere are highlights.

Read article by Ellen B. Wells from Summer 1993 Newsletter on the Hünersdorf Collection.
The John H. and Martha Daniels Collection. This sporting book collection includes a handwritten manuscript on foxhunting by Theodore Roosevelt, 90 different editions of Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler, signed books by cowboy author-artist Will James, color plate books by British sporting artist Henry Alken, and much more. Daniels also collected books with fore-edge paintings.

The Huth-Lonsdale-Arundel Collection. This collection of books on early horsemanship was originally formed by Frederick Henry Huth, author of A Bibliographical Record of Hippology (1887), one of the foremost bibliographies in the field. It includes many of the classics of horsemanship, such as editions of Federico Grisone'sOrdini di Cavalcare and Jacques de Solleysel'sLe Parfait Mareschal (1685).

The Woolums Collection. This collection consists of over 3,000 stud books, periodicals, and reference works on 20th-century Thoroughbred racing. Margaret (Sissy) Woolums was one of the world's experts on pedigrees and she had amassed a library that included stud books from more than 38 countries worldwide where Thoroughbreds are bred and raced. View an inventory of serials. View an inventory of monographs.The collection is housed in the periodical stacks on the lower level. An article on the collection appeared on page 2 of the Fall 2004 newsletter.

The Paul Brown Collection. This collection consists of books (mainly equestrian) for young readers and adults written and/or illustrated by the American illustrator, Paul Brown (1893-1958). Some of these books are signed and include original artwork by the artist. In 2008, Mrs. Frances Dulaney donated her private collection of 56 of Brown's books to the Library. Books by Brown already owned by the NSL (including some titles from the Daniels Collection) were added to Mrs. Dulaney's books to create this fabulous collection. The books are housed in a special section in the general stacks on the main level.

Three useful booklets, the National Sporting Library & Museum brochure, Treasures of the National Sporting Library and This is the National Sporting Library contain descriptions and essays about some of the most important individual works and collections, and free copies of the latter publication may be obtained by contacting John Connolly, Librarian, at jconnolly@nsl.org or 540-687-6542 x 18.

Copies of the National Sporting Library & Museum brochure, Treasures of the National Sporting Library, and This Is The National Sporting Library can also be downloaded in PDF form below:

Download PDF of National Sporting Library & Museum brochure
(2007- National Sporting Library brochure; revised 2010) 7.34 MB
Download PDF of Treasures of the National Sporting Library
(1999) - 14. 6 MB
Download PDF of This Is The National Sporting Library
(2003) - 16. 2 MB


PERIODICALS

The Library's periodicals collection contains several dozen current titles as well as a collection of 18th-20th century British periodicals such as the Sporting Magazine and Annals of Sporting, as well as early American sporting periodicals, such as The Spirit of the Times and The American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine. The Library has published a complete index to Turf Register, and microfilm/microfiche indexes are available for both the Turf Register and the American Farmer. View partial list of current periodicals & selected historical periodicals. The list is currently being updated and should not be considered a complete reflection of the Library's holdings. Please check card catalogue for other periodical listings.  

ARCHIVES AND MANUSCRIPT COLLECTIONS

The Library is fortunate to possess a large collection of scrapbooks, papers, photographs, and research of several key figures in the history of turf and field sports. One such collection is comprised of the papers of Harry Worcester Smith, sportsman, author and founder of the Masters of Foxhounds Association. Also included in the archives and manuscript collections are organizational papers, such as the National Beagle Club archives and minutes of the American Foxhound Club. Other collections of interest include the Somerville and Ross manuscript collection and the photographs of Wally Nall.

National Sporting Library Archives and Manuscripts

The Library has digitized portions of several collections for viewing online, and will continue to add more items as time goes on. 

FILM AND VIDEO COLLECTION

The National Sporting Library's collection of audio and visual materials includes films of Tommy Smith and Jay Trump, the first American rider/American horse team to win the English Grand National.