The College of Charleston’s Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library just received a remarkable collection of more than 2,000 angling and sporting books published between the 17th and mid-20th centuries in Great Britain and the United States. The collection is a significant addition to the library’s already notable natural history collection that includes the work of John James Audubon, John Gould, and Mark Catesby.

The collection, compiled by Dr. Greville Haslam, boasts more than 400 volumes of Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler, the third most reprinted book in publishing history, exceeded only by the Bible and Pilgrim’s Progress. The collection includes the rare 1655 second edition, the 1661 third edition, and the 1676 fifth edition. The volumes are in all formats, range in date from 1655 to 1950, and feature variant bindings and illustrations.

Other treasures in the Haslam Collection include eighteenth and nineteenth century angling titles from the collections of Dean Sage and John Heckscher, two notable early sporting book collectors, as well as inscribed copies of many important early twentieth century angling and sporting works. The Haslam Collection was given to the College of Charleston by Howard and Mary Phipps.

“This is a remarkable collection that reflects not just the joys of fishing across three centuries, but offers insight into the environmental issues that challenge us today” said Dr. David Cohen, Dean of Libraries at the College of Charleston. “This is by far the finest collection in the southeast.”

The public will get its first glimpse of the Haslam Collection during the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition on February 18-20, 2011. The exhibit will feature select volumes from the collection, as well as travel journals, photographs and memorabilia that belonged to Dr. Haslam.

Dr. Haslam (1891-1967) served as Headmaster of Episcopal Academy in Merion, PA from 1921 until 1957. An angler, hunter and world traveller with an interest in exploration, his valuable collection of sporting books took him more than 45 years to build. His meticulous notes and card catalog will provide both insight into his collecting focus, as well as research opportunities to students of natural sciences; book printing, illustration, publication and binding; and social and cultural historians.

A comparison of the works in other notable angling collections throughout the United States – those held at Yale, Princeton, the National Sporting Library, and the University of New Hampshire – reveals just how exemplary the Haslam collection is

Select notable titles include: Dean Sage’s The Ristigouche and Its Salmon Fishing, 1888; Alfred Ronalds’ Fly-Fisher’s Entomology, 1913; John Charles Phillips’ A Natural History of the Ducks, 1922-6; Charles Schwerdt’s Hunting, Hawking and Shooting, 1928-37; Roy Chapman Andrews’ The New Conquest of Central Asia, 1932; Hechscher’s copy of watercolor drawings of 92 Japanese Fish, 1870; and a Micmac manuscript written by a chief of the Restigauche Indians of Lower Canada and New Brunswick.