Links Library Home RBML SCETI Penn Home


    Fairman Rogers

Fairman RogersThe Fairman Rogers collection at the University of Pennsylvania consists of 1,054 rare volumes from the personal library of Fairman Rogers (1833-1900). A Penn alumnus (AB 1853, AM 1856), he was co-founder of the School of Veterinary Medicine, professor of civil engineering (1855-1871), and internationally recognized horseman. The materials, primarily published in the 19th century, with some imprints dating to the 16th century, bring together Rogers' interest in horses, and their relationship to engineering, veterinary medicine, science, and history of industrialization, specifically related to agriculture, transportation, hauling, and construction. Comprised of medical guides, stud books, books on shoeing, harnessing, training, riding, driving, racing, keeping a proper stable, and breeds and breeding, the collection serves as a foundation for scholarly study of the role of the horse in the technical, scientific, and social evolution of 19th-century European and North American history.

In addition to his involvement in the founding of Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine in 1884, Rogers was one of 55 founding members of the National Academy of Science, and chair of the Committee of Instruction at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He shared an interest in photography with his contemporaries, Thomas Eakins and Eadweard Muybridge. The first painting to depict horses in motion, Eakins' May Morning in the Park: The Fairman Rogers Four-in-Hand (1879), is based on Muybridge photographs, and demonstrates a technique mastered by Rogers for driving a carriage drawn by four horses while holding the reins in one hand.

The Fairman Rogers Collection has already served as source material for nationally recognized scholarship. Dr. Ann N. Greene, undergraduate coordinator and lecturer in Penn's history and sociology of science department, won the 2009 Fred B. Kniffen Book Award from the Pioneer America Society (PAS) for her book Horses at Work: Harnessing Power in Industrial America (Harvard University Press, 2008). In the spring of 2007, Penn Libraries hosted the exhibition, Equus Unbound: Fairman Rogers and the Age of the Horse, in tandem with the publication of Dr. Greene's book.