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AKC Library and Archives

AKC Library and Archives

Belgrave Joe skeleton on display at the AKC Library and Archives.
AKC Library and Archives at the headquarters.
AKC Library and Archives
AKC Library and Archives rare books.
AKC Library and Archives at the Museum of the Dog.
AKC Library and Archives

The AKC maintains one of the largest libraries devoted to dogs in the world, containing approximately 15,000 volumes, and the only national repository dedicated to the sport and enjoyment of the purebred dog. It has been providing internal and external reference on all manners of dog-related inquiries since 1934.

Bookplate designed by original library
committee chair Edwin Megargee.

The AKC Archives began in 1998 as a service to AKC national breed clubs. Since then, it has grown to include AKC Administrative records, and personal collections of prominent men and women in the sport.

The AKC Library & Archives holdings also include a complete run of the AKC Gazette and other bound periodicals, Stud Books, AKC-licensed dog show catalogs (1877-1983), art, literature, juvenile books, stamps, bookplates, scrapbooks, and vertical files of clippings, magazine articles, and photographs. The collection boasts such rare books as Johannes Caius’s De Canibus Britannicis, published in 1570; Cynographia Britannica by Sydenham Edwards, published in 1800; and the personal libraries of renowned fanciers John Cross, the Shearer sisters, Alva Rosenberg, and more.

Collections are now open for on-site research by appointment. Researchers may search our book holdings and explore our archival database online. Contact the Archivist with appointment requests, research inquiries* and any other questions.

A quarter of the library collection is now available for viewing within the AKC Museum of the Dog, which remains open. A display case within this space features rotating exhibitions curated by the AKC Library & Archives. Currently on view is “The Underdogs.” While the main exhibition gallery highlights the top ten breeds, the AKC Library & Archives presents a moment to appreciate the less appreciated. Get to know some of the breeds (such as the Komondor, below) with the lowest current number of AKC registrations through a selection of diverse materials from our collections. While these breeds may be lacking in quantity, there is no shortage in quality.

Past exhibitions include “The AKC at 50: Thriving in the Thirties

For all research inquiries*, research appointment requests, general questions or comments, please use this form.

*All dog pedigree requests and related inquiries to dogs registered in the last three decades, should be first directed to the AKC Registration and Customer Service department at or 919-233-9767. 



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Dog Map of the World, Joseph P. Sims (1933)