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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

AKC Library and Archives

Do I need an appointment to view or research collections?
Yes, an appointment is necessary so that the Archivist can be present and prepared to meet your research needs. At least 48 hours advance notice is required to ensure all desired materials are available for viewing. Please contact the Archivist using this form.

What are the hours of operation?
Hours of operation are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Where is the AKC Library & Archives located?
We are located at the AKC headquarters at 101 Park Avenue, New York, NY just south of Grand Central Station. A photo ID is required to enter the building.

What is in the AKC Library & Archives collections?
The 18,000-volume collection may be searched in our online catalog available here.

All processed archival collections may be searched in our online database available here.

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.

What happens when I donate a collection to the AKC Archives?
A Deed of Gift will be produced based on a preliminary inventory of the collection provided by the donor. Following the signing of the Deed by the AKC and the donor, the collection will be formally accessioned by the AKC Archives. The collection will be processed according to field standards; items will be re-housed in acid-free and archivally approved materials; and a finding aid, or collection guide, will be created and published on the AKC website.


Club Related Questions

Why should our club send our records to the AKC Archives?
Donating to the AKC Archives will ensure that precious club documentation is not lost, even through changes in officers and membership. 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.

Can member clubs donate to the Archives?
At this time the AKC Archives must prioritize parent club collections due to space and labor limitations. However, the Archivist is willing to consider member club donations based on size, historical importance, research value, and other factors. Parent clubs may choose to curate and include important member club materials in their collections.

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 videotapes. 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 here.

How should my club get started?
Club officers and members should begin communicating about what materials have been preserved and what materials need to be preserved. Begin compiling an inventory, which will be required in order to draw up a Deed of Gift for the collection. Contact the Archivist when you are ready to begin discussing the club’s potential donation to the Archives.

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 service offered to clubs. However, in keeping with our goal, if a Club chooses to donate their collection to 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. No collections will be processed that have not been legally deposited with the AKC Archives through a Deed of Gift.

Can we place access restrictions on our records?
Yes, clubs are free to restrict whole collections or certain materials so that only specified parties (such as officers or members) can access them. These restrictions should be clearly outlined in the Deed of Gift prior to the donation of the collection.

How large is the staff at the Archives? Can the Archivist handle the volume of records?
The AKC currently has one Archivist on staff, who holds a Masters degree in Library Science. They possess the training, experience, and knowledge to handle collections according to the archival field’s standards and best practices.

Does the AKC have the space?
As you may know, space for most archives and libraries is always at a premium. 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. It is very important the club work with the Archivist to determine materials for preservation in the Archives prior to sending.

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.

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. Depending on their access and storage requirements, physical collections are kept on-site or in a secure off-site facility.

AKC departments and the AKC Dog Museum probably have enough information about our club. Why more?
Records prior to the AKC’s commencement of electronic record-keeping in 1980 may not be comprehensively preserved and digital preservation amongst clubs may be scattered and not suitable for long-term preservation. 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 formally accessioned into the AKC Archives, they will be permanently retained there and may not be withdrawn. If clubs wish to borrow deposited materials for an exhibition or a digitization project, they may borrow up to two boxes of materials at a time. However, all shipping costs and insurance must be covered by the club. The AKC Archives will not be responsible for materials lost or damaged during the loan process, and loans are subject to the Archivist’s approval on a case-by-case basis.

Will our records get digitized?
The AKC Archives does not possess the staff to perform large-scale digitization projects. Highlights of the collection will likely be scanned and published on the AKC website. Small-scale scanning projects may be performed upon club request.

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 appointed archivist or historian maintaining records?
A club is at liberty to maintain its own records. Submission to the AKC Archives is voluntary. The AKC Archivist can offer guidance on preservation techniques and is working on developing guidelines & recommendations to send out to all clubs.

Do we want marked or unmarked catalogs?
AKC already maintains the records for its events. Our complete run of marked historic catalogs through 1983 are currently being digitized so we are no longer interested in old catalogs unless they are missing from this collection. Browse and search our collection of show catalogs here.

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 & Archives. An inventory of newsletters held by the Archive can be found here.

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 this case, a written request must be made in writing to the AKC. The request will be taken into 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).