Mission Statement

  • Serve as a library of record and an archive for all matters relating to purebred dogs.
  • Maintain educational resources about purebred dogs, including information about their:
    • Origins, instincts, capabilities and functionality.
    • Breeding, management and training.
    • Roles in organized sporting events and companionship activities.
    • Representation in our cultural heritage through art, literature and philosophy.
  • Provide research assistance, guidance and direction to all who are interested in the welfare and advancement of purebred dogs.


The American Kennel Club maintains one of the world's largest libraries devoted to dogs, the development of purebred dogs and the sport and enjoyment of dogs. Open to the public, the Library's mission is to serve as a public reference collection and archive on matters relating to purebred dogs and the various roles they play in our lives. The Library presently contains approximately 18,000 volumes including foreign and domestic stud books and bound periodicals. In addition there are extensive collections of videos, stamps and bookplates as well as vertical files of clippings and magazine articles. Bound volumes of the AKC GAZETTE, the official publication of the American Kennel Club from 1889 to the present, as well as all AKC Stud Books are also easily accessible to researchers.


The American Kennel Club Library was "officially" established by the AKC Board of Directors in April 1934. A Board-appointed committee, chaired by the noted artist and Scottish Terrier fancier, Edwin Megargee, and guided by David Wagstaff, the noted bibliophile and field trial pioneer, shaped the Library's growth until 1958. Since that time, the library's management has been a function of AKC staff. Starting with approximately 50 books, the collection has grown tremendously over the years through donations and acquisitions. A unique bookplate to designate library holdings was designed by Megargee in 1936 and has been in use since that time.


The main subject categories are individual breeds, care, training, behavior and breeding. There are also titles on field sports involving dogs, the various useful occupations dogs perform and the canine representation in art, literature and history. The collection boasts such notable works as Johannes Caius' De Canibus Britannicis , the first book to attempt to establish a scientific classification scheme for dogs, a facsimile of The Boke of St. Albans , the first book in the English language to discuss emerging breed types and their functionality, as well as The Dog and the Sportsman by John Stuart Skinner, the first sporting book about dogs published in America.
The Library also contains book collections from prominent dog fanciers such as Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge, Harry T. Peters, John W. Cross, Alva Rosenberg, Major and Beatrice Godsol, Tom Stevenson and Dorothy Howe.

Electronic Media

There are over 350 videos and DVDs in the collection. These include all of the AKC programs as well as tapes from other sources on topics such as grooming, training, breeding and dog shows. The library's catalog provides access to the Internet.


The Library has a public access catalog which is available over the Internet. It can be both searched and browsed by author, title or subject. In addition, there is an on-site index of Gazette articles by subject.

AKC Mission Statement

The American Kennel Club is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its Registry, promoting the sport of pure-bred dogs and breeding for type and function. Founded in 1884, the AKC and its affiliated organizations advocate for the purebred dog as a family companion, advance canine health and well-being, work to protect the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership.


The collection is not available for loan, and is strictly a research resource. The Library is available to researchers by appointment only.

The American Kennel Club Library
260 Madison Avenue (4th floor)
New York, NY 10016

James Crowley, AKC Executive Secretary
phone: 212-696-8234
fax: 212-696-8252
Online Catalog