THE MATERIALS FOR THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN RECREATION ARE so voluminous that the following bibliographical notes represent only a tentative and very limited guide to the essential sources. There is no encompassing a field which includes laws on colonial and state statute-books, the journals of travelers throughout our history, diaries and autobiographies, newspapers and magazines (their advertisements as well as their news columns), and all extant sports guides, books of games, theatre playbills and programs, circus posters, and general amusement broadsides. It is possible here only to indicate the sources that the present author has found especially useful.
For books dealing with special phases of recreation there are a few helpful bibliographies. Robert W. Henderson has compiled a chronological cheek-list of books on sports published prior to 1860, Early American Sports ( New York, 1937); and C. M. Van Sockurn a more general bibliography for 1890-1912, Sport ( New York, 1914). Blanch M. Baker, Dramatic Bibliography ( New York, 1933), is useful for the theatre, and Leonidas Westervelt, The Circus in Literature ( New York, 1931), for the circus. The various volumes in A History of American Life edited by A. M. Schlesinger and D. R. Fox (12 vols., in progress, New York, 1927 --) have bibliographical sections on amusements; and the Russell Sage Foundation has issued two selective bibliographies on modern recreation -- Bulletin 151, compiled by Grace P. Thornton, and Bulletin 156, compiled by M. P. Williams. Finally, note should be made of the monthly lists of books on this topic in the magazine Recreation, published by the National Recreation Association.
An extensive specialized literature on both the theatre and sports is available, but the only comprehensive attempts to portray the entire theatrical scene are O. S. Coad and Edwin Mims, Jr., The American Stage in The Pageant of America, Vol. XIV ( New Haven, 1929), Arthur A. Hornblow, History of the American Theatre (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1919), and John Anderson, The American Theatre ( New York, 1938); while the only inclusive history of sports is John A. Krout , Annals of American Sport in The Pageant of America, Vol. XV