ARBA Hall of Fame Library’s Oldest Book

The ARBA Hall of Fame Library is pleased to be able to offer visitors to this site, for their viewing pleasure, the oldest book that deals strictly with rabbits from our library collection. This little book titled, The Complete Rabbit Fancier, was acquired by the Hall of Fame Library in 2004, when an extensive collection of books and publications were purchased from Mr. George R. Scott of York, England.

Mr. Scott purchased this scarce little item from a rare book dealer in 1980 just outside of London. Because the book does not show a publication date nor author, there are various thoughts as to the actual age. Book dealer V. Hayhew dated the book at about 1826 before offering it for sale. Mr. Scott dates it much later to 1861, based on a quote from another book titled The Book of the Rabbit(1881). The Hall of Fame Library Chairman dates this historical piece to approximately 1821 based on a number of factors; publisher, paper, ink, illustrations, hand coloring and various portions from the text.

Although this book is not in it’s original binding, having been rebound a number of years ago, the piece is housed in it’s own protective case due to advanced age and extreme rarity.