Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  • Do I need an appointment to view or research collections?
    Yes, an appointment is necessary to view collections or conduct research. Please contact the archivist at (212) 696-8216 or by email
  • What are the hours of operation? 
    Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Where are the AKC Archives located?
    We are located at the AKC headquarters at 260 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY.
  • Can I donate my personal collection or a relative's collection to the AKC Archives?
    The AKC Archives consist of primarily club records and AKC administrative records. Additionally, we also accession personal collections from prominent breeders, handlers and judges. If you or your relative is a significant figure in the fancy and, if space permits, then AKC may accept the collection.

Club Related Questions

  • Why should our club send our records to the AKC Archives?
    It will help create a unique, permanent, national repository for purebred dogs. There are no other repositories in the country dedicated to the sport of the purebred dog. This would be a valuable resource for researchers, organizations and clubs. The AKC has a trained Archivist to maintain the records in a controlled environment where every precaution is taken to preserve, arrange and catalog the records according to National Archival Standards. Without this type of professionally managed repository, over time, invaluable historical material about the sport of purebred dogs would inevitably be lost to posterity.
  • What type of material should our club send?
    Materials sent to the AKC Archives should be primary sources. Primary sources include original meeting minutes, constitutions, by-laws, correspondences, photographs, negatives, original research, catalogs, premium lists, lists of prominent sires and dams, audio and video tapes. Secondary sources, such as published books, are primarily the library's jurisdiction. The AKC Library does accept books, which are housed on its shelves, and rare books, which are kept in a secure location and accessed under strict supervision. The entire library catalog is available on the AKC Library website.
  • How large is the staff at the Archives? Can the archivist handle the volume of records?
    The AKC currently has only one archivist on staff. He was employed as the Project Archivist at several institutions including the Brooklyn Historical Society, Columbia University Law Library, and Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. He has the experience and knowledge to handle large volume collections.
  • What is the purpose of the Deed of Gift form? Do we need to sign it? 
    Your club is not required to do anything. This is not a mandatory initiative but a voluntary archive project. However, in keeping with our goal, if a Club chooses to donate their collection the Archive the Deed of Gift form should be signed by your club officer. It serves two purposes. First it ensures that club records will be handled by a professional repository and will be handled in the same way as other collections. Secondly, it ensures that the AKC Archives has the right to grant permission to reproduce documents for research purposes.
  • Does the AKC have the space? 
    As you may know, space for most archives and libraries is always at a premium, but at the AKC Archives we took special precaution to avoid such issues by submitting surveys to all Parent Clubs and Member Clubs. Before a collection is submitted the Archivist is careful to select only the most relevant materials and materials that are not already represented in the AKC’s collections for donation to conserve space.
  • Who will incur the expense of shipping and handling? 
    Shipping expenses of materials must be handled by the donating individual or Club.
  • Will we receive a receipt that the collection was received?
    Yes, the archivist will sign the Deed of Gift and remit a copy to the club along with an acknowledgement letter.
  • How are collections assembled and stored?
    All club records are closely scrutinized by the AKC archivist. The archivist ensures that archival quality information is available to the public for research purposes. The records are analyzed, arranged, stored and cataloged into a database. Eventually, the database will be placed online for public access.
  • AKC departments and the AKC Dog Museum probably have enough information about our club. Why more?
    They do have a wealth of information, but the AKC Dog Museum is in St. Louis, and proximity prevents us from retrieving information easily. Additionally, and more importantly, records housed in the AKC Dog Museum are the museum's permanent records. The AKC wants to build our own permanent records. The AKC Archives will retrieve other records from AKC departments, such as Club Relations, but there are many types of internal club records and other historical documents, to which the AKC does not now have access. Thus we need to solicit the clubs in an effort to create the most complete historical record of the sport possible.
  • Can we request our records back? 
    Once historical documents are included in the AKC Archives, they will be permanently retained there and may not be withdrawn. However, requests for copies of material will be evaluated and, with the exception of confidential records, in most cases will be provided.
  • What if we want the original records back and not a copy?
    This would have to be taken under consideration by the AKC executive secretary and archivist on a case-by-case basis.
  • Can we give the AKC Archives the copies rather than the originals? 
    The AKC Archives prefers the originals because they are primarily what researchers seek in a repository. However, if only copies of historically significant documents are available, we would certainly consider including them in the archives.
  • What is the archivist's role for clubs that have an archive or historian maintaining records? 
    If a club wishes to maintain its own records, that is fine. Submission to the AKC Archives is voluntary. The AKC archivist can offer guidance on preservation techniques and recommend resources.
  • Do we want marked or unmarked catalogs? 
    AKC already maintains the records for its events. However, while we would not wish to collect the catalogs for all member club events, we would be interested in some specific catalogs for historically interesting or important events. We would evaluate what a club has and wishes to add to the permanent archives and determine what to accept on a case-by-case basis.
  • Do you want copies of our newsletters? 
    Yes. Newsletters can provide valuable information for future researchers. However, many newsletters are already represented within the collections in the AKC Library and Archives. Please consult with the Archivist.
  • If a record is closed, what does that mean? 
    It means records are not accessible to the public, unless researchers can provide enough evidence that they are conducting valuable research. In which case, a written request must be made in writing to the AKC. The request will be taken under consideration by various departments. However, in most cases, a closed record remains inaccessible for a period of time (e.g. 50 or 75 years). This is done to protect the privacy of any living individual(s).