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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.

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.

Collections are open for on-site research by appointment. Researchers may search our library collection and explore our archival database online. For all research inquiries, research appointment requests, general questions, or comments, please use this form.

Guidelines for on-site research:

  • All on-site researchers must present their photo ID to the security desk upon arrival.
    Coats and bags are not allowed in the reading rooms or collection areas and can be stored in the cloakroom. We assume no responsibility for lost or stolen items, so please leave your valuables at home.
  • Please wash your hands thoroughly before handling materials to help us preserve our collection.
    Food and drink are not allowed in the reading rooms or collection areas but may be consumed in the lounge and dining area.
  • Pens and markers are not allowed in the reading rooms or collection areas. Please bring a pencil and/or laptop to take notes.

A quarter of the library collection is now available for viewing within the AKC Museum of the Dog.

The library space in the AKC Museum of the Dog includes a bulk of the books on individual breeds as well as children’s literature and other dog-specific topics on art, history, photography, training, sport, military and police work, and more. A display case within the Museum Library features rotating exhibitions curated by the AKC Library & Archives. 

Current and upcoming exhibits:

Past exhibitions: