The Rowman &Littlefield Publishing Group has acquired the assets of Derrydale Press, a long-established publisher of notable outdoor and sports titles, based in Lyon, Miss.

The press, whose earlier titles are valued items in the rare books market, was founded in New York in 1927 by Eugene Connett III, who personally designed the more than 160 titles the firm produced from 1927 to 1942, when it was sold to Crown Books. They were beautifully produced and illustrated, devoted to such pursuits as hunting, fishing and riding, and mostly sold in limited editions for collectors.

Derrydale was bought by Douglas Mauldin in the mid-1980s, and he began a program of reissung some of its classic titles in leather bindings, selling them by subscription.

According to Jed Lyons, president of Rowman and Littlefield, the company will be moved to his Lanham, Md., headquarters and will embark on a two-tiered publishing program: luxury trade paperback editions of classic Derrydale titles and new books in such categories as sporting art and outdoor sports. The books will be marketed through R&L's National Book Network, beginning this fall; there will be five to 10 new titles a year, in addition to a similar number of reissues.