Edward Lasker manuscript collection

Finding aid prepared by Brooke M. Black
Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Fax: (626) 449-3477
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2016
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Edward Lasker manuscript collection
Inclusive Dates: 1523-1994
Bulk Dates: 1988-1994
Collection Number: mssLasker manuscripts and mssHM 68495-68513
Creator: Lasker, Edward, 1912-1997
Extent: 1,894 items in six boxes plus 19 manuscript volumes
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Fax: (626) 449-3477
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: The collection contains correspondence and other material related to Edward Lasker's horse library as well as 19 manuscript volumes from his library.
Language of Material: The records are in English.

Administration Information


Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please go to following web site .

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining permission rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of Item], Edward Lasker manuscript collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Acquisition Information

Gifts of Cynthia Lasker, 1998-2005, and Courtland E. Palmer, November 2010.


Edward Lasker was the son of American businessman and philanthropist Albert D. Lasker and his first wife Flora Lasker. He graduated from Yale University in 1933. He worked at his father's advertising agency, Lord & Thomas, until 1942 when he joined the U.S. Navy. After the war, Edward Lasker moved to California where he became a film producer. In 1947, Lasker married actress Jane Greer, with whom he had three sons: Alex, a screenwriter; Lawrence, a retired producer/screenwriter, and Steven, a Jazz historian and record remastering engineer. In 1955, Edward graduated wtih his law degree from the University of California in Los Angeles and began practicing law in Los Angeles. Lasker and Jane Greer divorced in 1963 and he married Cynthia Palmer. Edward Lasker died in Los Angeles in 1997.
Edward Lasker was long involved in Thoroughbred horse racing as an owner and breeder. He also collected early and rare books and manuscripts about horses. His collection was donated to the Huntington Library by Cynthia Lasker in a series of gifts from 1998 to 2005. The Edward Lasker Collection includes approximately 1400 rare titles, chiefly books and serials.

Scope and Content

Correspondence Files: The correspondence files consist of 5 boxes of letters, faxes, invoices, and book catalogs related to Edward Lasker's rare book and manuscript purchases that made up his horse library. Notable corespondents include: Blood-Horse Inc., DeWitt Clinton, Fasig-Tipton Co., J. A. Allen & Co., and James Cummins Bookseller. There is also a folder containing material regarding British jockey Fred Archer, who shot himself in 1886, including photographs. Several folders contain photographs of books or copies of title pages, etc.
Scrapbooks: The two scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings about Edward Lasker's racehorses and their races, most of which are from the Daily racing form. There are also some clippings about the horse By Zeus, which was owned by Jane Greer.
Manuscript Volumes: The 19 manuscripts, all formerly owned by Edward Lasker, span five centuries of horse and horse racing history, mostly in Great Britain and the United States, although there are two Italian manuscripts, one in German, and one in Arabic. The volumes include stud books; treatises on horse care and treatment; manuscripts with illustrations of bits and bridles; manuscripts on horse training, breeding and racing; horse pedigrees; horse registers; and two volumes dealing with horse races at "The Derby," and "The St. Leger." Many of the volumes have illustrations, and two are illuminated. One manuscript (HM 68502) is a subscription agreement for the Prince's Stakes races at Newmarket which is signed by George IV when he was Prince of Wales; it is also signed by several other notable British nobility. This finding aid contains a detailed list of the manuscripts.


Organized in the following manner: Correspondence Files (Boxes 1-5); Scrapbooks (Box 6); Manuscript Volumes (HM 68495-68513). The Correspondence Files are arranged in alphabetical order and the Manuscripts are in chronological order.

Indexing Terms

Personal Names

Archer, Fred, 1857-1886
Clinton, DeWitt, 1769-1828
George IV, King of Great Britain, 1762-1830, signer
Gould, Nat
Greer, Jane, 1924-2001
Lasker, Edward, 1912-1997
Lasker, Cynthia, donor
Palmer, Courtland E., donor
Rosebery, Archibald Philip Primrose, Earl of, 1847-1929
Scott, Robert W. (Robert Wilmot), 1808-1884
Skinner, John Stuart, 1788-1851
Taunton, Thomas Henry
Wavertree, William Hall Walker, Baron, 1856-1933

Corporate Names

Blood-Horse, Inc.
Fasig-Tipton Co.
J.A. Allen & Co.
James Cummins Bookseller
Daily racing form


Book collectors -- California -- Archives
Horse racing -- Great Britain
Horse racing -- United States
Horses -- Breeding
Horses -- Early works to 1800
Horses -- Training
Thoroughbred horse -- Great Britain
Thoroughbred horse -- United States
Race horses -- Great Britain
Race horses -- United States


Book catalogs
Illuminated manuscripts
Letters (correspondence)

Container List


Correspondence Files

Physical Description: Boxes 1-5
Box 1

Horse Library-1995 - Calderwood Books

Folder 1

Horse Library - 1995 (1995)

5 items
Folder 2

Horse Library - 1996 (1996)

37 items
Folder 3

"A" (1954-1990)

37 items
Folder 4

Allen, J. A. & Co. Library - 1988 to 1990 (1988-1990)

191 items
Folder 5

Allen, J. A. & Co. Library - 1991 to 1994 (1991-1994)

171 items
Folder 6

Archer, Fred ([1880s]-1933)

4 items. Includes two photographs.
Folder 7

Horse Library - Robin Bledsoe - 1991 to 1994 (1991-1994)

24 items
Folder 8

Blood Horse - 1974 (1970-1992)

92 items
Folder 9

Calderwood Books - 1984-1989 (1984-1989)

30 items
Box 2

Horse Library-Christie's - Horse Library-Correspondence, 1992 to 1994

Folder 1

Horse Library - Christie's, etc. (1983-1986)

5 items
Folder 2

Christie's - Neelands (1990-1993)

100 items
Folder 3

Christie, Manson & Woods Horses Library (1983-1992)

45 items
Folder 4

Clinton, DeWitt letter to John Stuart Skinner (1824, Sep. 1)

1 item
Folder 5

Horse Library - Correspondence, 1989-1991 (1989-1991)

61 items
Folder 6

Horse Library - Correspondence, 1992 to 1994 (1992-1994)

41 items
Box 3

Cummins - Hooper's Books-To 1984

Folder 1

Cummins, James Bookseller - 1986 (1986-1994)

218 items
Folder 2

Horse Library - Desiderata (1967-1994)

48 items
Folder 3

Horses - Fasig-Tipton Catalogs (1990-1993)

33 items
Folder 4

Horses - Fasig-Tipton Ins. (1961-1986)

82 items
Folder 5

Finney, John - Finney Bloodstock Inc. (1968-1989)

11 items
Folder 6

Hooper's Books - To 1984 (1981-1984)

89 items
Box 4

Hooper's Books-1985-1991 - Piper

Folder 1

Hooper's Books - 1985-1991 (1983-1991)

75 items
Folder 2

Hooper's Books - 1992-1994 (1992-1994)

7 items
Folder 3

Horse Library - Keeneland/Waren (1990-1994)

34 items
Folder 4

Marlborough Sporting Gallery (Rupert Collens) (1989-1990)

61 items
Folder 5

Miscellaneous (1961-1988)

12 items
Folder 6

National Sporting Library (1991-1993)

24 items
Folder 7

Horse Library - Neil Nelson (1986-1990)

22 items
Folder 8

Piper Publishing Company (1980-1992)

89 items
Box 5

Horse Library-Rohman - Warner Family

Folder 1

Horse Library - Rohman (1983-1993)

70 items
Folder 2

Horse Library - Smithsonian Inst. - Ellen B. Wells (1993-1994)

4 items
Folder 3

Sotheby's (1981-1994)

110 items
Folder 4

Swann Galleries (1983-1990)

35 items
Folder 5

Telly Hill Books - E. Johnson (1983-1988)

20 items
Folder 6

Warner Family (1986-1988)

4 items


Physical Description: Box 6
Box 6


Folder 1

Scrapbook (1954-1973)

1 item. 60 x 49 cm. Includes loose clippings in front re: Jane Greer's horse By Zeus (1954).
Folder 2

Scrapbook (1963-1968)

1 item. 60 x 49 cm. Some clippings are coming loose.

Manuscript Volumes (HM 68495-68513)

Physical Description: 19 items

 HM 68495  "Comenzarino" [Italian treatise on care and treatment of horses] (1523)

Bologna. Blind stamp binding. A. B. Maclay copy. 18 cm. Gift of Courtland E. Palmer.

 HM 68496  "Le Briglie" [Italian illustrated treatise on equine bits and bridles] [between 1550-1600]

With 80 sepia ink & blue watercolor wash illustrations and numerous heraldic insignia. Also notes. 42 cm.

 HM 68497  Volume of illustrations of equine bits and bridles for a loriner [between 1550-1600]

Probably German. With about 200 hand-drawn drawings, vellum over paste boards. 40 cm. Gift of Courtland E. Palmer.

 HM 68498  Articles establishing horse-racing at Lanchester Meadows, Co. Durham (1730, Apr. 4)

Signed by the Founders George Ormsbey, George Wheatley, William Byrdying, and John Brown. 35 cm.

 HM 68499  Arabic or Persian illuminated manuscript on the training of horses [1750]

With 35 miniatures. 26 cm. Gift of Courtland E. Palmer.

 HM 68500  Hayne, Charles. Book of Horsemanship (1753)

A treatise on horses and horse-racing, with a guide to equine training and health, suggestions for racing, tack, weights, general rules on racing and riding, etc. 88 page, 33 cm.

 HM 68501  Kelly, John. Petition to Thomas Willing, Mayor of Philadelphia, for permission to operate a refreshment booth during racing on the Common (1762, Aug. 11)

With signatures in support. 36 cm.

 HM 68502  Subscription agreement for the Prince's Stakes races at Newmarket (1784, Apr.)

Signed by the future George IV as Prince of Wales, Bolton Foley, Augustus Henry Fitzroy 3rd Duke of Grafton, William Henry Fortescue 1st Earl of Clermont, George O'Brien Wyndham 3rd Earl of Egremont, Richard Grosvenor 1st Earl of Grosvenor, Dennis O'Kelley, and others. 1 page, 40 cm.

 HM 68503  Album of ten letters and documents related to the thoroughbred racehorse "Eclipse," Dennis O'Kelley, his nephew Andrew O'Kelley, Samuel Chifney, and English racing [between 1784 and 1814]

Red morocco gilt binding by Riviere & Son, with cameo bust by Tassie after an original by Loche inlaid inside front cover. 38 cm.

 HM 68504  Skinner, John Stuart, 1788-1851. Letter to unknown addressee re: business matters, manufacturing, future of slave labor, property sales, etc. [before 1852]

Philadelphia. 2 pages, 26 cm.

 HM 68505  Scott, Robert W. "Register of Brood Mares and of Breeding Jennets [& Stallions]" (1858-1883)

128 pages, 26 cm.

 HM 68506  Rosebery, Archibald Philip Primrose, Earl of, 1847-1929. Stud Book (1873-1909)

The Durdans, Epsom, Surrey. Laid in: single sheet "Signorinetta's Pedigree." Approximately 101 pages, 26 cm.

 HM 68507  Taunton, T. H. Manuscript draft and notes for portions of his Portraits of celebrated racehorses (1888) [1881]

With numerous engravings, newspaper and magazine clippings, etc. of racehorses, jockeys, owners, and other racing world figures.

 HM 68508  Record of two-year-old horses racing in England, 1770-1892 [approximately 1900]

With notes on name and place of race, stakes, distance, and winners; for individual horses records weight, sex, racing frequency. Some additional statistical summaries at the beginning of Volume 1 for the years 1779-1900. 18 cm.

 HM 68509  Tables showing subsequent racing careers of the first three placing horses in the Derby, St. Leger, Oaks, and other races, 1774-1903 [1903]

158 pages, 18 cm.

 HM 68510  Gould, Nat. "The Magic of Sport: Mainly Autobiographical" (1909)

Approximately 1,110 pages, 23 cm.

 HM 68511  Wavertree, William Hall Walker, Baron, 1856-1933. "Pedigrees of Stallions" (1912-1931)

Five generations of bloodlines of horses born 1912 to 1931, with notes on horses given away, bred, and died. 28 pages, 20 cm.

 HM 68512  Association of Racehorse Owners, Breeders, and Trainers. Meeting minutes (1915-1927)

Begins with their first meeting, 1915, May 20, in London. 174 pages, 23 cm.

 HM 68513  Smith, James J. A Record of "The Derby" and "The St. Leger," showing the Bruce Lowe Families of Sire and Dam of winners up to and including the year 1931 (1931)

141 pages, 23 cm.