The National Sporting Library

The outside of the National Sporting Library.
The outside of the National Sporting Library.

Escape from the midday heat of the Upperville Horse Show and stop into the neighboring National Sporting Library.

Founded by sporting enthusiasts George Ohrstrom and Alexander Mackay-Smith in 1954, the collection that started with 7,000 assorted volumes has grown to 17,000 meticulously categorized titles.

The library is dedicated to preserving and sharing the literature, art and culture of horse and field sports. It houses extensive collections of 16th-21st century books and manuscripts on equitation, along with hunt diaries, scrapbooks and photo albums.

Besides a healthy collection of first editions throughout, the rare book section houses the library’s oldest volume (on dueling, dating to the 1520s), along with an original manuscript penned by a young Theodore Roosevelt.

The Library offers educational lectures, book-signings and film-screenings. Art exhibits include paintings and bronzes from rarely seen private collections and museums. Art from the Library's permanent collection is found throughout the Library, including eye-catching weathervanes from the estate of the late philanthropist Paul Mellon. Paul Mellon also donated the bronze Civil War Horse, a memorial on the NSL campus to the 1 1/2 million horses and mules that died in the Civil War.

The Library’s current exhibition is Horses at Work and Play, which displays the Library’s collection of artifacts and antique toys. This exhibit is on display until June 30th.

The Sporting Library is a historical treasure that is free and open to the public. For more information visit NSL.org

The National Sporting Library has also received an extremely generous donation of $250,000 from Ronald M Bradley and fiancé Danielle Kazmier, both pictured in our Social Scene Section attending this year’s fundraiser in Washington D.C.

The Library is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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