You are here

Rare Books

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
609-258-3184
Curator of Rare Books
609-258-9942

I. Kenneth H. Rockey '16 Angling Collection (Isabelle A. Rockey Memorial Collection on Angling). 
   Location designator: Rockey and Ex Rockey

About 4,300 volumes, of which 350 are considered rare. Main strength is in the American and English 19th and 20th century literature of angling in fresh and salt water. Practical treatises on fish, fishing, tackle, angling reminiscences, fiction and poetry of angling, scientific works and government publications on fish and fisheries, publications of angling societies, etc.

Includes about 150 different editions of Izaak Walton's Compleat Angler.

For particulars refer to: William S. Dix, "The Rockey Angling Collection" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XV, 3 (Spring 1954) pp. 161-163 [full text] .

See also: Kenneth H. Rockey, "A Fisherman's Library" in the Atlantic Salmon Journal No. 2 (1975) pp. 9-11.

II. Otto von Kienbusch '06 Angling Collection. 
     Location designator: ExKi

About 3500 volumes. For particulars refer to: Fresh Water Angling; 50 Books and Other Materials Tracing its Development: An Exhibition. (Princeton, 1946) [(ExKi) Z5975.P7 and (ExKi) 4222.737]

An exhibition of sporting books also featured angling. For particulars refer to: Stephen Ferguson, "The Gentleman's Recreation: Sporting Books in the Princeton University Library" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XL, 3 (Spring, 1979) pp. 269-271 [ full text]. A catalogue of the exhibition is available and catalogued [(ExB) 0639.739 no. 39]. [full text]

The exhibition was particularly rich in books on angling, reflecting the Library's holdings in English and American angling books. The following writers were represented: Leonard Mascall, Thomas Barker, Richard and Charles Bowlker, George P.R. Pulman, W.C. Stewart, Alfred Ronalds, Frederic M. Halford, G.E.M. Skues, Theodore Gordon, George M.L. La Branche, Ray Bergman, A.J. McClane, Izaak Walton.

The collection includes the earliest angling book in English: Dame Juliana Berners. A Treatysse on Fysshynge Wyth an Angle. Printed by Wynkyn de Worde, assistant to England's first printer, William Caxton, 1496, it is leaves [37b]-[48b] of Dame Berner's Book of hawking, hunting, and heraldry [(ExKI) Z241 .xB37 1496].

The collection also includes the unique copy of the second angling book printed in English: (Anonymous) The Arte of Angling, London: Henry Middleton, 1577.  See: "Did Walton Hook 'Angler' From Older Book?; Princetonians Find Passages of Classic in Long-Lost Text."  The New York T'imes, December 17, 1956, page 1.

See also: John Merritt, "Angling Books" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XLI, 1 (Autumn, 1979) p. 30 ff [ full text].

Collection contains 15 volumes of The American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine for the years 1829-1844. This magazine has been described by authorities as the only complete source for accounts of all field sports during this period.

Also see: John Merritt, "Of Nymphs & Neversink Skaters. The Compleat Princeton Angler" in Princeton Alumni Weekly, vol. 74, no. 22, (April 23, 1974) pp. 10-13. and Dale Roylance, "The Angler as Bibliophile: Princeton's Kienbusch Collection" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle, L, 2 (Winter, 1989), pp. 169 ff. [ full text]