Guide to the Research Collections

- Horses, Horse Racing, and Horse Breeding

Horses, Horse Racing, and Horse Breeding

This rich collection is covered by about 4,000 entries in the Public Catalog, including long files of studbooks, racing guides, and periodicals, with many early works on equitation, farriery, and similar subjects from the United States and other countries. In 1951, Herbert Bayard Swope presented a valuable collection of 217 volumes, the larger number pertaining to horse racing in America and horse breeding. This gift contains an exceptionally long set of Racing Form; Charts of American Racing (1896-1941) supplemented by Daily Racing Form Chart Books (1942-51), a continuation of which the library currently maintains. In addition are 14 periodicals concerning horses, horse racing, and horsemanship, including El caballo (Buenos Aires, 1935-), Quarter Horse Journal (1953-), Western Horseman (1936-), and Blood Horse (1938-). Studbooks include American Stud Book (1873-), American Morgan Horse Register (1894-), and Arab Horse Stud Book (1919-).

Early works on horses and horsemanship include a number published in sixteenth-century Venice, as well as early English and American items in the Rare Book Division. In the Spencer Collection is George Engelhard von Löhneyss's Della Caualleria (1624), a work on harnesses and saddles, Hans Creutzberger's Eygentliche, wolgerissene Contrafactur und Formen de Gebisz (1591), and other works on horse ballets and related matters in the collection of festival books. The Prints Division has numerous representations of horses and riding by such artists as Dürer, Delacroix, Géricault, and others; also the duke of Newcastle's A General System of Horsemanship (1743).

The papers of Robert Bonner in the Manuscripts and Archives Division relate to the breeding, development, and shoeing of trotting horses between the years 1860 and 1899. Several manuscript stud records include those of Seely's American Star and Eclipse, son of Marske.