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“Preserving Our Falconry Heritage”

Heritagee-Newsletter Summer 2008 • No. 2

Recent News Introducing The New Curator Of The Archives

❏ Administrator David Wells recently 1st in a Series: Archives Associcates
attended a Mastering Photoshop work- At the 20th Anniversary celebration on
shop. Because he does extensive scan- March 7, 2007, John R. Swift officially
ning and digital photography of the became the second curator of The Ar-
Archives’ collections, the advanced skills chives of Falconry following Col. S.
he learned will benefit him in producing Kent Carnie, the founding curator. He

rials to promote the Archives. O

this newsletter and creating other mate- had served for 15 years as the Archives’
Curator of Books and Manuscripts, estab-
lishing the largest collection of English-
❏ David Wells recently attended a two-part language falconry books in the world.
workshop, sponsored by the National
Endowment for the Humanities. Disaster John become interested in libraries as
Preparedness and Emergency Response a 6th grader in Dallas, Texas when he
helps libraries and museums to develop was asked to work in the school library,
a thorough plan to prioritize collections an activity he would continue through
and to quickly mobilize resources for college. He graduated in 1968 with a
recovery and preservation in the event B.S. in Education from the University
of Kansas and immediately began work
earthquake. O
of a disaster, such as fire, flood, or
with the YMCA as a youth instructor.
He continues to work for the YMCA
today in Los Angeles serving as an
Executive Director. His YMCA work
in volunteer and board development,
Upcoming Auction organizational and fiscal management
The 2008 Silent Auction is rapidly ap- along with extensive financial develop-
proaching! The official announcement ment skills have already been put to use an avid falconry book collector. From
will be made in late September by email at the Archives of Falconry. him John developed an appreciation
and via this e-newsletter. for fine books as well as learned about
While still in high school in 1960, his practical falconry. Both activities began
The auction list is comprised of dupli- falconry experiences began when a in earnest when John started working
cates of titles we own, books gifted for Coopers Hawk flew into his racing with Henry’s falcon breeding project,
the purpose of sale, or books we sell on pigeon loft. He immediately went to the first successful breeding of Prairie
behalf of others and earn a commission. the local library for information about falcons in the world.
Every book has been evaluated and hawks but found little available. Dur-
rated by professional book sellers. This ing college he obtained a Harris’s Hawk After relocating to Denver, John joined
year’s list of several hundred titles, has and began training it. His first YMCA the Colorado Hawking Club serving as

the $multi-thousands. O
offerings for every budget, from $5 to position in St. Louis, MO led him to a meet coordinator for local club meets.
falconer Henry Kendall who also was In 1977, The North American Falconers

New Curator (continued) John is able to provide leadership even
Association asked the CHC to co-host though he does not live in Boise. David
the November field meet, with John Wells is the full-time on-site manager We have received sad news of the recent
serving as meet chairman. They agreed, and Kent maintains an office. There deaths of two prominent falconers, Kent
on the condition that the meet would are numerous falconers working at The Christopher of Idaho and Tony Robert-
become non-competitive — a tradition Peregrine Fund should specific falcon- son of California. We extend our sym-
that continues today. John also imple- ry assistance be needed. pathies and invite family and friends to
mented the fund-raising raffle as well attend our March “Rendezvous” 2009,
as the meet art print that is still in use John is currently preparing a new bib- when both men will be honored with
after 28 years. liography of falconry books, entitled plaques at the Wall of Remembrance.
Bibliotheca Accipitraria II after the 1891
While in Denver, John became ac- reference work by falconer/author James In the last issue of this newsletter, in
quainted with Barrie Watson, a falconry Edmund Harting. After 20 years’ prepa- the article on the Wall of Remem-
bookseller, who helped John find many ration, John’s bibliography is nearing brance, we neglected to mention an
elusive and rare books. Unable to fly a completion and will be published later important feature, that names on the
hawk while working in San Pedro, Cal- this year as the fourth volume in the Ar- plaques are not restricted to U.S. citizens.
ifornia, John met Natalie Nicholson, chives Heritage Series. The reference Any deceased falconer may be honored
another bookseller, and his personal work will list more than 600 titles and by contributions from friends and fam-
collection further expanded. be illustrated with art work depicting ily regardless of nationality.
rare and unusual books in the Archives
In 1991 the Swift family submitted a vid- as well as books in other institutions. Thus, we are pleased to report that Ned-
eo to America’s Funniest Home Videos™ erlands Valkeniersverbond “Adriaan Mol-
and won the grand prize of $100,000. As a master falconer, John plans to fly len” has pledged funds to sponsor the first

the YMCA. O
Their lives as well as The Archives of hawks again after his retirement from
Pieters. O
non-U.S. plaque in memory of J. H. M.
Falconry would be changed forever. By
making his book collection a charitable
donation, John was able to preserve his Recent Acquisition
cash prize and significantly increase John Swift donated a Sterling
the depth and quality of the Archives’ silver ring used by Sir Anthony
book collection. Since this initial do- Mildmay (1549-1617), whose
nation, John has continued to add new family was prominent during
and rare falconry titles. The Archives the Tudor period. The 3/8”
of Falconry now houses the most ex- ring is probably a band that was
tensive collection of English-language wrapped around the hawk’s leg
falconry books in the world. and soldered closed, which Sir
Thomas Sherley calls “garters for hawks.” It
Over the years, John’s work at the Ar- is inscribed with the owner’s name to aid in
chives grew such that he was recognized recovery of a lost bird. It joins the Freeman
by the organization as the logical choice varvel and the Thornton Silver Tea Urn as

our collection of falconry equipment. O

to become the new curator when Kent significant objects of British antiquity in
retired. Via modern telecommunications,

Guess Who?
(2nd in a series...)

Can you identify this well-known,

American falconer in his younger days?

For answer, see below

Pete Jenny, President of The Peregrine Fund