Abercrombie & Fitch Library

Arno Press (New York, US)
Series dates: 1967
Size: 5.25″ x 7.75″

The Arno Press was established in 1962 by Arnold Zohn, the press name an abbreviation of “Arnold.” The Arno Press specialized in issuing reprints of reference materials, scholarly works and general out-of-print titles aimed primarily at libraries. The initial titles issued were placed in named collections, including “The American Negro, Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution, the German Air Force in World War II, Museum of Modern Art Reprints, and Tate Gallery Publications.” These titles, all reprints, could be purchased individually or by collection. (Alma Burner Creek, “Arno Press”, in: Peter Dzwonkoski, ed., American Literary Publishing Houses, 1900-1980, Dictionary of Literary Biography, Detroit, MI: Gale, 1986, Vol. 46), p. 18.). Many more of these collections followed; eighteen to twenty new collections were added per year. In 1981 Arno listed 186 collections of titles in print.  Many of these collections are listed as series in WorldCat.

In 1968 the New York Times acquired 51% of Arno Press and named Zohn as the Press director, as an employee of the New York Times. In 1975 Zohn became a New York Times VP, in charge of their book publishing efforts. He retired in 1980. “The imprint was licensed to Random House from 1984 and then to the Henry Holt division of Macmillan since 2000. It appears that the Arno Press imprint was discontinued around 1984” (source). Titles do appear with dates up to 2017 in WorldCat.

The Abercrombie & Fitch Library was issued en masse in 1967, comprising 42 reprints of sporting books. The connection to the venerable upscale clothing company helped promote the series: “The publishing venture … began in March of 1966, when Abercrombie’s hired Charles A. Pearce to look into the possibility of making facsimile editions of old out-of-print sporting books. ‘I had the best job in the world,’ Pearce said. ‘I sat in the library of the Racquet Club and read all those books that everyone thinks he would like to read and never has time to'” (source: Sports Illustrated, January 15, 1968). Pearce was the founder of publisher Duell, Sloan & Pearce.

The series was distributed, in the UK, through University Microfilms: below find an advertisement from the Times Literary Supplement (9 Mar. 1967, p. 189).

From the rear of the dust jacket, the 42 titles in the series:

THE ABERCROMBIE & FITCH LIBRARY

Presents rediscovered works by great sportsmen of the past, now reissued as they appeared in the original editions. Whether they deal with hunting and fishing, with exploration, or with travel, these are the books of extraordinary men who sought extraordinary adventures-and found them. The titles are:

Dangerous Voyages of Captain William Andrews; two Atlantic crossings ed. by Richard Henderson $12.50
The Rifle & the Hound in Ceylon; hunting in the East in the 1850s by S.W. Baker $12.95
African Hunting from Natal to the Zambesi by W.C. Baldwin $12.95
The Book of St. Albans; the first sporting book in English by Dame Juliana Berners $18.00
The Glorious Mornings; stories of fishing and shooting by Paul Hyde Bonner $6.95
Aged in the Woods; more stories by Paul Hyde Bonner $5.95
Fishing and Shooting Sketches by Grover Cleveland $6.00
Travels of a Pioneer of Commerce; overland towards India in the 1860s by T.T. Cooper $10.95
After Wild Sheep in the Altai and Mongolia by Prince Demidoff’ $10.00
Carolina Sports; special attention to devil-fishing by Wm. Elliott $5.95
Schwatka’s Search; Arctic exploration, 1878-80 by W.H. Gilder $8.50
Those of the Forest; a natural history classic by Wallace B. Grange $7.95
Wild Northern Scenes; in the Adirondacks by S.H. Hammond $7.95
Narrative of an Expedition into Southern Africa in the 1830s by W.C. Harris $8.95
A Trout and Salmon Fisherman for 75 Years by Edward R. Hewitt $8.50
Campfires in the Canadian Rockies; big-game hunting in 1905 by William T. Hornaday $10.95
Campfires on Desert and Lava; exploring the Pinacate region in 1908 by William T. Hornaday $10.95
The Cruise of the Falcon; 1880-81 by E. F. Knight. Two vols. $16.95
Krider’s Sporting Anecdotes $8.00
The Dry Fly and Fast Water and The Salmon and the Dry Fly by George M.L. La Branche $6.95
The Art of Wing Shooting by William Bruce Leffingwell $7.95
The American Sportsman by E.J. Lewis $10.95
Tales of the Fish Patrol by Jack London $5.95
Ocean Racing; 1866-1935 by A.F. Loomis $10.95
Sport and Adventures among the North American Indians by Charles A. Messiter $10.00
Newfoundland and Its Untrodden Ways by J.G. Millais $14.95
Elephant Hunting; a classic account by A.H. Neumann $12.50
The Tent Dwellers; camping and fishing in Nova Scotia by Albert Bigelow Paine $6.95
The Barren Ground of Northern Canada by Warburton Pike $8.95
Through the Subarctic Forest; down the Yukon by canoe in 1887 by Warburton Pike $8.95
Game Fish of the Northern States by Robert Barnwell Roosevelt $7.95
American Partridge and Pheasant Shooting by Frank Schley $7.95
A Hunter’s Wanderings in Africa; 1871-80 by F.C. Selous $11.95
Travel and Adventure in Southeast Africa; 1882-92 by F.C. Selous $11.95
Voyage of the Liberdade; 1888 by Capt. Joshua Slocum $5.95
The Analysis of the Hunting Field by R.S. Surtees $17 .50
Whirlaway by Bert C. Thayer $7.50
Coaching Days and Coaching Ways by W. Outram Tristram $15.95
Hunting Sketches by Anthony Trollope $4.95
Three Years’ Hunting & Trapping in America and the Great Northwest by J. Turner-Turner $10.95
The Compleat Angler; facsimile of the first edition by Izaak Walton $6.00
On River Angling for Salmon and Trout by John Younger $4.95

The series jackets followed a specific general design but varied (in typography and illustrations or both) from book to book. The jacket spine includes the book title, author, series name, Abercrombie & Fitch logo, and publisher imprint. The series name is repeated at the top of the jacket front. The front jacket flap includes a review of the book and its author. This copy is price clipped, but the book is listed at $5.95 on the back of the jacket.

The rear jacket flap continues the text from the front jacket flap. “Jacket design by Winston G. Potter.” The rear of the jacket lists the 42 titles in the series with prices.

Quarter bindings are of high quality, as befits a series aimed at the library market (where sturdy bindings are a requirement). Coarse tan cloth contrasts with the marbled green paper over boards.

The series name is on the half-title page:

The series name is also included on the title page:

A 1967 copyright for the introduction to the book along with manufacturing and a Library of Congress call number is included on the copyright page. “Reprinted from a copy in the collection of the New York Public Library Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.” The introduction, created for this printing of the book, follows.