One of the most significant collections held by the Library is the John H. Daniels Collection.  It comprises 5,000 volumes collected over thirty years by John Hancock “Jack” Daniels and was donated to the Library by him and his wife between 1995 and 1999.  The magnitude of the gift required more room for housing than that which was available in the Vine Hill house and spurred the construction of the Library’s current building, including its climate-controlled F. Ambrose Clark Rare Book Room.

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Books in the F. Ambrose Clark Rare Book Room.

The collection includes books, periodicals, manuscripts, and ephemera, and covers a variety of sporting topics including sporting art, horsemanship, foxhunting, equestrian sports, shooting, fly fishing, veterinary medicine, and more.  Anyone who has been on a tour of the Rare Book Room will be familiar with items from the Daniels collection such as the handwritten manuscript on fox hunting by Teddy Roosevelt or one of many books featuring a fore-edge painting.

John Daniels
John H. Daniels.

Daniels was a life-long sportsman himself.  He played polo and was MFH of the Camden Hunt in South Carolina.  He co-founded and served as Joint-MFH of the Long Lake Hounds in Minnesota, and the Old Stonington Hunt in Illinois. He also served on the boards of the Carolina and Colonial Cup Steeplechases, and the National Steeplechase Museum.  He was a member of the board of directors here at the National Sporting Library from 1987 to 2004.

JH Daniels with family Long Lake Hounds
John H. Daniels and family with the Long Lake Hounds.

By donating his impressive collection of sporting books to the NSLM, John Daniels preserved the books themselves and shared the knowledge contained within them.  He was adamant that his books should be used.  He envisioned scholars developing new research from and about these books and sharing it with the larger world.  In 2007 the NSLM realized that vision though the creation of a fellowship program named in his honor, The John H. Daniels Fellowship.  This September we will welcome our 80th Daniels Fellow.

The program is open to university faculty, graduate students, museum professionals, librarians, independent researchers, writers, and interested others.  Recipients of a Daniels Fellowship have come to the NSLM from across the country and around the world.  They are supported during their research through stipends, and out of town researchers are frequently housed in a cottage on the NSLM campus.  Research conducted through the program has resulted in the publication of books and articles, and scholars frequently share their research with the public through the NSLM’s lecture series.  Their research topics have been as varied as the Collection, including horsemanship and equestrian sport, art, fly fishing, shooting, and literature, just to name a few.

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Dr. David Gerleman, Professor at George Mason University and one of NSLM’s 2019 John H. Daniels Fellows discusses his research during a lecture in June 2019.

The application period for the 2020 John H. Daniels Fellowship program closes on August 15th.  I would like to encourage researchers whose projects touch on field sports or sporting art to look at our collections, and if they can identify useful resources, to apply for a John H. Daniels Fellowship.


SONY DSCErica Libhart has served as the Mars Technical Services Librarian at the National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) since early 2016. The focus of her position is collection services, working to increase accessibility to NSLM’s collection of books, periodicals, and archival materials. The NSLM collections span over 350 years of the history of equestrian sport, as well as fly fishing, wing shooting, and other field sports. Have a question? Contact Erica by e-mail

Throughout the 20th Century, if you looked on any foxhunter’s bookshelf, you would find at least a few volumes of Baily’s Hunting Directory. Baily’s has been pervasive and influential in the foxhunting world, and is widely heralded as the “Foxhunter’s Bible.” NSLM has a complete run of Baily’s print editions, and I plucked one to highlight for you.

Baily's Hunting Directory, covering the 1904-1905 hunting season. Baily's print editions were distinctive for their red hard-bound covers.
Baily’s Hunting Directory, covering the 1904-1905 hunting season. Baily’s print editions were distinctive for their red hard-bound covers.
Baily's is a treasure trove of information. Hunt attire (including official formal wear), territory, terrain, and even recommendations for type of horse are found for each hunt.
Baily’s is a treasure trove of information. Hunt attire (including official formal wear), territory, terrain, and even recommendations for type of horse are found for each hunt.
Baily's began printing the directory in 1897. Hundreds of hunts are detailed, including less common hunts that feature stag hounds.
Baily’s began printing the directory in 1897. Hundreds of hunts are detailed, including less common hunts that feature stag hounds.
The volume I pulled (1904-1905) features a directory of hotels for sporting gentlemen. Hotels advertise with phrases such as: "Centrally situated for Hunting with Belvoir, Cottesmore and Quorn; easy rail distance Blankney and South Notts. Best Boxes in the Town. Every accommodation for Hunting Gentlemen." This is reflective of a time period where much greater mobility allows much more variety in the hunts that could be reached.
The volume I pulled (1904-1905) features a directory of hotels for sporting gentlemen. Hotels advertise with phrases such as:
“Centrally situated for Hunting with Belvoir, Cottesmore and Quorn; easy rail distance Blankney and South Notts. Best Boxes in the Town. Every accommodation for Hunting Gentlemen.”The development of Baily’s is reflective of a time period where much greater mobility was the order of the day. Strangers to the hunt from far away needed as much information as possible to plan a hunting excursion.

Two large fold-out maps are included. I think it's amazing to see what a huge portion of England was hunting territory during this era!
Two large fold-out maps are included. I think it’s amazing to see what a huge portion of England was hunting territory during this era!

Unfortunately, due to cost constraints, Baily’s ceased print publication of the directory after 2008. It does, however, continue to publish online at www.bailyshuntingdirectory.com. Baily’s was such a thorough, year-by-year look at hunting with hounds, that it’s hugely valuable for research.

Last summer, Daniels Fellow Erica Munkwitz used Baily’s to gauge the influence of women on foxhunting prior to World War I. Erica will be returning to NSLM this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss what she found. You are invited to attend; no RSVP is required.

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Erica Munkwitz will visit NSLM Saturday, June 20 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss her research as a 2014 John H. Daniels Fellow. Erica’s research drew upon Baily’s to discern how much authority hunting women enjoyed before World War I.

Jim Casada came to the National Sporting Library & Museum in 2014 for a John H. Daniels Fellowship. Mr. Casada writes the books column for Sporting Classics. He wrote a wonderful article about NSLM and his fellowship in the latest issue of the magazine. Mr. Casada will be returning to the NSLM for a lecture and book signing on July 7, 2015. This is a preview of Mr. Casada’s article. You can read the whole article at Sporting Classics Daily

During the summer of 2014 I received a John H. Daniels Research Fellowship at the National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) in Middleburg, Virginia. The fellowship supported my research toward producing a biography of Archibald Rutledge, longtime poet laureate of South Carolina and possibly the most prolific outdoor writer of the 20th century.

My time, however, at the NSLM involved appreciably more than delving into their first-rate Rutledge holdings. Simply put, my fellowship tenure in Middleburg was an eye- opening, enchanting experience involving an excellent collection with unlimited potential for growth. The library is constantly expanding its holdings and is already a significant research center in a number of fields, but it has the potential to become the focal point for the study of America’s sporting past.

Books shelved in the F. Ambrose Clark Rare Book Room.
Books shelved in the F. Ambrose Clark Rare Book Room.

Many years ago Yale University had a golden opportunity to become such a repository, thanks to alumnus Charles A. Sheldon, who died in 1930 and left the university his impressive personal library of sporting literature. Sadly, Yale did not seize the momentum offered by the acquisition of Sheldon’s thousands of books, pamphlets, bulletins, and long runs of sporting magazines. More than four-score years have passed, yet there is no evidence that the university has made any effort to expand or update the Sheldon collection. Had they done so, the Ivy League institution would now have a magnificent holding of inestimable potential for anyone researching subjects relating to conservation, hunting, fishing, and life outdoors.

Fortunately, the Sheldon collection is covered fully and is the sole listing in John Phillips’ Bibliography of American Sporting Books, 1582–1925, published shortly after Sheldon’s death in 1930. And in 1997 Meadow Run Press, now an inactive sporting publisher I hope to cover in a future column, brought out a continuation of the Phillips bibliography with M. L. Biscotti’s A Bibliography of American Sporting Books, 1926-1985. Together, the pair forms a logical starting point for anyone wanting to take a comprehensive look at the evolution of American sporting literature. They also offer a solid roadmap for creating a truly comprehensive collection of works on American sport—no such holding, outside of the Library of Congress, presently exists.

Books from the Meadow Run Press shelved in the Main Reading Room.
Books from the Meadow Run Press shelved in the Main Reading Room.

Perhaps it is just as well. In today’s world, the ivory tower and the hunter’s ethos are seldom ideal soulmates—although such was not always the case. Consider the life of Theodore Roosevelt for example. Indeed, in many parts of current academia, even in fields of study such as wildlife biology, a distinct anti-hunting bias prevails.

Read the rest of this article at Sporting Classics Daily

Our recent Fellow, Collin McKinney, has left the NSLM and returned to Bucknell University. We asked Collin to share some of his experiences over the last two months in Middleburg and in our collections. Here’s what he had to share.

I arrived in Middleburg on a sunny day at the beginning in January. I think it might have been the only sunny day during my entire stay. Notwithstanding the snow and cold—and it sure was cold—I spent a fantastic two months working at the National Sporting Library. During my eight weeks in Middleburg I had a simple routine. I would wake up and go for a jog around town and out by the Salamander Resort. After breakfast I would work at the library, compiling notes and references from the books in the library’s collection. After lunch and an espresso at Common Grounds I would head back to the library and work until closing time. After dinner in the cottage I would review my notes for the day and plan my work for the next morning. That might not seem very exciting to most people, but for an academic to be able to escape department meetings, course prep, and household chores in order to focus on research, it was pure bliss.

My short stay was extremely productive. I am researching the link between masculinity, militarism, and sport in Spain. Although the library’s collection is especially rich in American and British sources, there are also some real treasures on Spain. I found books on bullfighting, jousting, fencing, dueling, and hunting. One of my favorite discoveries was a hunting manual attributed to the King Alfonso XI, Libro de la montería (the NSLM has an 1582 edition as well as a facsimile version from the nineteenth century).

Cover page from "Libro de la Monteria" used in Collin's research
Cover page from “Libro de la Monteria” used in Collin’s research

Besides being a fascinating description of the hunting practices in medieval Spain, it confirms the link between hunting and martial success. King Alfonso tells his readers that: “a knight should always engage in anything to do with arms and chivalry, and if he cannot do so in war, he should do so in activities which resemble war. And the chase is most similar to war.” Over the centuries, as military activity became professionalized and Spain created a standing army, men no longer needed to hunt but continued to do so for pleasure.

Woodcut illustration from "Libro de monteria"
Woodcut illustration from “Libro de  la monteria”

While a cursory glance might suggest that modern sport is far removed from the battlefield, a more careful look will reveal the link between field sports, indeed all sport, and warfare.  The next time you turn on a football game, notice the military rhetoric used by sportscasters, watch the strategies involved as teams attack and defend their terrain, and note the way spectators demonstrate their loyalties with flags, fight songs, and uniforms as they celebrate symbolic battles of controlled violence.

Another illustration from "Libro de la monteria" - Dogs and men hunting elk with a fence barrier
Another illustration from “Libro de la monteria” – Dogs and men hunting elk

During the coming months I plan to write two articles. The first is titled “How to Be a Man in Nineteenth-Century Spain,” which will outline the tension between traditional, rough masculinity and modern, refined masculinity. This study will examine the rise of the bullfight as an example of the way that bellicose masculinity was socialized, codified, and relegated to the sporting arena by Spain’s middle class. The second article I plan to write deals with the sportification of warfare more generally, beginning with medieval field sports and continuing to present-day activities like soccer and tennis.

 


Fellow Kathleen Crandell
Fellow Kathleen Crandell

We have two Fellows researching at the Library currently – Collin McKinney and Kathleen Crandell. We’ve already met Collin, so now we’ll meet Kathleen!

Where are you from?

Clarke County, Virginia

Do you have any institution affiliation (such as a university or museum)?

No current affiliation but I received my PhD from Virginia Tech.

What are you researching?

A historical perspective on the causes, incidence, management and treatment of laminitis in horses’ is my topic. My intention is to document the changes in the understanding and treatment of this devastating disease in equines throughout the centuries to present day. Although even today we do not know the exact mechanism for the second leading cause of death in horses and ponies, perhaps by looking at how it has been handled in the past will further the understanding of how to treat the animals today.

Why are you researching at NSLM?

Because of the excellent selection of books from centuries past on veterinary care of animals.

What is your goal with your research?

To write a comprehensive article on the topic for publication.

How did you find out about the Fellowship program and NSLM?

I have been a member of the National Sporting Library and Museum for over 20 years and saw the Fellowship advertised in the newsletter.


We’re happy to have Kathleen researching with us at the NSLM until the end of March. Feel free to leave a comment or question for her here!

Fellow Collin McKinney hard at work in the library main reading room
Fellow Collin McKinney hard at work in the library main reading room

Welcome to our newest John H. Daniels Fellow, Collin McKinney! We’d like to share a little information about our Fellows here so our NSLM community can learn about the researchers spending time with the collections in our Library. Fellowship Advisor, Erin Livengood, asked Collin a few questions, and here’s what he had to say:

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in California, but I have been living in Pennsylvania for almost 8 years now. I hate winter and so I am hoping that being a few hours further south will help me get through January and February.

Do you have any institution affiliation?

I am a professor at Bucknell University, and I teach in the Department of Spanish.

What are you researching?

My area of specialization is masculinity studies. We’ve all heard the nursery rhyme, “What are little boys made of? Slugs and snails and puppy-dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of.” But I’m curious as to what the ingredients of a man might be. I am interested in the way that cultures construct masculinity and how individuals portray their own masculinity. I have published articles on masculinity and fashion, masculinity and sex, and even the facial hair trends of the nineteenth century. My current project deals with masculinity and sport.

Why are you researching at the NSLM?

If you research sport you realize that most sports have a symbolic connection with warfare. Even the way we discuss sport is loaded with militaristic metaphors. In the case of field sports the link is much more obvious. Hunting, riding, and dueling were all meant to hone the skills needed to be effective warriors. I plan to use the library’s collection of hunting manuals from the nineteenth century to look at the way these texts implicitly shaped popular notions of masculinity.

What is your goal with your research?

My plan is to publish an article about the link between masculinity and field sports in the nineteenth century. Eventually, I hope to publish a book on Spanish masculinity in the nineteenth century.

How did you find out about the Fellowship program and the NSLM?

I am on sabbatical and was looking at a list of fellowships on the MLA (Modern Language Association) website. The description of the Daniels fellowship and the collection at the NSLM seemed like a good match with my project.


Since 2007, the NSLM has hosted the Fellowship program in honor of the legacy of sportsman and book collector John H. Daniels (1921-2006). Past Fellowship recipients include post-graduate students, authors, curators, museum professionals, professors, and scholars researching a variety of subjects related to field sports. The diversity of fellows’ projects reflects the wide variety of material within the NSLM collections. Topics include history, art, literature, anthropology, and sport, with research projects ranging from the architecture of horse stables, history of horsemanship, equestrian fashion, and poetry, to falconry, veterinary science, environmental conservation and fly fishing.

We wish Collin the best of luck in his research here at the NSLM. Feel free to leave a comment for him here and look forward to meeting a new Fellow in just a couple months.