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AKV 1.0


1920-1965 [bulk]

1.5 linear ft (in 3 boxes)

Processed by Norma Rosado-Blake; Additions, edits, and conversion of legacy inventories by Brynn White


Biographical Note

Dog show judge, author and bibliophile John T. Marvin (1906-1988) was one of the best known personalities in the dog fancy, particularly the terrier world.

Marvin and wife Bertha Slade German operated under the kennel prefix Cranbourne, beginning in 1932 with Wire Fox Terriers. In 1943 they acquired their first West Highland White Terrier, and then a Scottie in 1949. They bred over 25 champion and won 8 Best in Shows and over 100 Group firsts, achieving much of their fame in Westies.

Marvin was approved to judge all terrier breeds in 1947, and select sporting breeds in 1968 and 1969. His first assignment was in 1947 at the Blackhawk Kennel Club show. He judged the Terrier Group at Westminster four times and in the parent specilaty shows of most of the terrier breeds.

Marvin served as secretary (1947-1964), president (1967-1969), and AKC delegate (1967-1988) of the West Highland White Terrier Club of America; he also edited the club’s monthly newsletter and yearbook.  Other club affiliations and offices held included the American Fox Terrier Club, as president; Dayton Kennel Club, as show chairman for ten years: Associated Terrier Clubs, as vice-president and Montgomery County Kennel Club, as vice-president from 1969 to 1977 and as show chairman from 1971 to 1977. He also served as vice-president of the Wire Fox Terrier Club of the Central States, was a member of the Santa Barbara Kennel Club, and was one of the oldest members of the Scottish Terrier Club of America.

Mr. Marvin served on the Eastern Trial Board of the American Kennel Club from 1970 to 1985.

President of the Dog Writers· Association of America from 1973 to 1979, Mr. Marvin was also a prolific writer. He was the author of The Complete Book of Dog Tales, four terrier books (The Book of All Terriers, The Complete West Highland White Terrier, The Complete Cairn Terrier, and The Complete Scottish Terrier), and was working on a book on the Fox Terrier. Between 1961 and 1981, he wrote extensively for the AKC Gazette including a series titled “Great Dog Men of the Past.” He also wrote on the subject of book collecting and dog show history, and a history of the first hundred years of the American Kennel Club, published in The American Kennel Club Source Book in 1984

Scope and Content

The John T. Marvin photography collection (1800-1985; bulk: 1910-1965) chronicles many great events, figures, dogs, and depictions in art & print of the sport over the course of its history. Subjects range from 19th century field paintings; to men gathered around an early American dog show circa 1890; to a 1940 parade of local dogs at the Dayton Kennel Club Dog Show; to a shot of the Bedlington town sign, which has become the quintessential image for the birth of the terrier breed; to the famous image of champion Pekingnese Chik T’Sun of Caversham surrounded by the press at the 1960 Westminster Kennel Club dog show. The collection contains portraits, win shots, publicity shots, candids, and snapshots from a wide variety of shows and other events in America and Europe.

The collection, drawn from the AKC Gazette files and Marvin’s own personal research investigations, is a rich resource for images of important people in dogdom throughout the course of the 20th century, including early fanciers (Winthrop Rutherford, Percy Jones); judges (Freeman Lloyd, Dr. Samuel Milbank); breeders (Alene Stern Erlanger, Tom Gateley, Percy Roberts); AKC representatives (William A. Rockefeller, August Belmont); publishers & writers (Will Judy); handlers (Harry Sangster); field enthusiasts (G.H. Thomas); show superintendants (George Foley); and photographers (William Brown, Rudolf Tauskey); as well as outside celebrities (Jack Dempsey, Harry Truman).

It also significantly documents junior handling various awards shows (Fido, Dog Writers Association, Ken L-Ration) and is particularly strong in the Terrier, Sporting, and Herding groups, including mid-century materials for Sealyham Terriers and Shetland Sheepdogs. Images of various dog publications and artwork — much of it held by the AKC Library & Archives — and a small selection of clippings, including a Swedish periodical The Bedlington, are also present.



Materials appear to have been transferred by Marvin to the AKC Library at some point prior to his death in 1988.


Digitized Materials

Many images have been digitized; consult the Archivist to review digital copies.


Related Materials

The writings of John T. Marvin, which may include images from the collection, may be found in the AKC Library holdings and subject files.


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