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AKD 7.5

Bearded Collie Club of America collection


27 linear ft in 33 boxes (14 record cartons, 7 document boxes, 2 photo boxes, and 10 oversize boxes).

Processed by Craig Savino; additions and edits by Brynn White, 2016



The Bearded Collie Club of America collections contains the records and collected items of the Club devoted to the Bearded Collie breed. Secretary’s records include meeting minutes dating back to 1978 and the officer’s files on numerous club administration matters, complimented by further club files of distribution materials, stud books, and records of Bearded Collie champions in conformation, agility, obedience, and herding . A nearly comprehensive run of club’s magazine and newsletter, as well as other breed publications are present, as far catalogs, premium lists, ephemera, photographs, and audio-visual materials for most National Specialties, in addition to regional specialties and other affiliate club events.


The collection is arranged into six series:

  1. Secretary’s Records, 1978-2011
  2. Publications, 1969-2011
  3. Dog Shows, 1975-2010
  4. Office Files, 1976-2011
  5. Parade of Champions Exhibit, 1979-1999
  6. Audiovisual Materials, 1983-2014

Historical Information

The breed

Sometimes known as the Highland Collie, the Mountain Collie, or the Hairy Mou’ed Collie, the Bearded Collie is one of Britain’s oldest breeds. While some have theorized that the Beardie was around to greet the Romans when they first invaded Britain, the current theory is that like most shaggy haired herding dogs, the Bearded Collie descends from the Magyar Komondor of Central Europe. As with most breeds not used by the nobility, there are few early records on this humble herdsman’s dog. The earliest known pictures of Bearded Collies are a 1771 Gainsborough portrait of the Duke of Buccleigh and a 1772 Reynolds portrait of that peer’s wife and daughter accompanied by two dogs. With Reinagle’s more easily recognizable Sheepdog published in Taplin’s 1803 Sportsman’s Cabinet, and a description of the breed published in an 1818 edition of Live Stock Journal, the existence of the breed as we know it is firmly established. At the end of the Victorian era, Beardies were fairly popular in southern Scotland, both as working and show dogs. When Bearded Collie classes were offered at shows, usually in the area about Peebleshire, they were well supported. However, there was then no official standard, since no breed club existed to establish one and each judge had to adopt his own criteria. The lack of a strong breed club proved quite a misfortune. The local popularity of the breed continued until World War I, during which there were few dog shows. By the 1930’s there was no kennel breeding Bearded Collies for show purposes. That Beardies did not die out rests on their ability as workers and the devotion of the Peebleshire shepherds and drovers to the breed. They are still highly valued as sheepdogs, due to their ability to turn in a good day’s work in south Scotland’s misty, rainy, and cold climate, and their adeptness on the rough, rocky ground. After World War II, Mrs. G. 0. Willison, owner of the Bothkennar Kennels, saved the Beardie from further chance of extinction when she began to breed them for show purposes. She spearheaded the establishment of the Bearded Collie Club in Britain in 1955. After much travail, in 1959 the Kennel Club in England allowed Bearded Collies to be eligible for Challenge Certificates and championships and the popularity of the breed began to steadily increase. Bearded Collies were introduced into the United States in the late 1950’s, but none of these dogs were bred. It wasn’t until 1967 that the first litter of Bearded Collies was born in in America. By July 1969, there was enough interest for the Bearded Collie Club of America to be founded. The breed became eligible to be shown in the Miscellaneous Class as of June 1, 1974. The AKC Stud Book was opened to Bearded Collie registrations on October 1, 1976, and the breed became eligible to compete in the Working Group on February 1, 1977. It became a breed of the Herding Group when that group was established, effective January 1983.

The club

In 1962, having brought their first Bearded Collie back to America and finding that the breed was not a registerable one with the AKC, Larry and Maxine Levy begin their efforts to add the breed to the AKC’s list of breeds. Over the ensuing years and with the help of other interested breeders, the Levy’s began to promote the breed in various ways and also started a shadow registry as more dogs were bred and whelped. By 1969 they felt enough work had been done to provide suitable justification and support for a club and along with Andrew and Dr. Jessie Davis drafted the initial constitution and by-laws for the Bearded Collie Club of America. The Club was officially founded on July 20, 1969 with five original members: Larry Levy, President; Dr. Jessie Davis, Vice President; Maxine Levy, Secretary and Treasurer; Helen Beitel and Mary Wright). By the time the club had its second meeting they had already managed to grow to over 30 members and began work on founding their club publication (the Beardie Bulletin), setting up dog shows, and helping start local breed clubs. Eventually Larry Levy stepped down as President and Tom Davies was elected to the position to help finish guiding the club towards official recognition by the AKC and by 1976 the Club and Breed were admitted into the AKC registry. Source: Bearded Collie Club of America 1994 Yearbook, Silver Anniversary Commemorative Edition

Scope and Content

The Bearded Collie Club of America collection contains the records and collected items of the Club devoted to the Bearded Collie breed.

The Secretary’s records include board and annual meeting minutes dating back to 1978 and the officer’s files on numerous club administration matters such as the breed standard, elections, finance, rules and ethics, events, membership, and committees including Breed Judging, Health, and Herding. Present in the files are ballots, reports, correspondence, forms, handbooks, and more.

The publications consist of the club’s magazine Beardie Bulletin and its newsletter, which was eventually named Bagpipes. Both publications serve as sources for the development of the club and breed and the involvement of both in the fancy. The publications series spans from 1969 to 2011 and tracks the breed’s transition from a primarily conformation participant to an agility and herding competitor as well. Also present are various examples of member club publications and unaffiliated and international breed magazines The Bearded Collie, The Bearded News, and more dating back to the 1970s.

The dog show files consist of catalogs, premium lists, and a variety of ephemera from Bearded Collie dog shows, most substantially the National Specialty (from 1974 to 2014) and a few regional specialties and other member club events. A small selection of photographs document British, Specialty, and Westminster Kennel Club winners. Interested researchers should also consult the Secretary’s files, which feature correspondence and other documentation of show planning and judge nominations.

The office files also compliment the Secretary’s records, containing a variety of files kept and maintained by the club, including the distribution materials and other ephemera, stud books, club logos, membership rosters and information packets, and historical scrapbooks and research such as titleholder lists.

The Parade of Champions and related materials are all mounted and laminated reproductions of images created for a club exhibition of Bearded Collie champions and Best of Breed winners over the years.

Audiovisual materials chiefly document National Specialties from 1987 to 2014 in both VHS and DVD format.


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