Search Menu

AKC Library and Archives

Archives Procedures

Mission Statement

The American Kennel Club (AKC) Archives aims to collect, appraise, preserve and make available the records that describe the dedication of the organization and its Member Clubs and Parent Clubs to the sport of purebred dogs.


The AKC Archives supports the mission statement by:

  • Soliciting AKC Member Club and Parent Club records
  • Accessing and preserving appropriate materials and historically significant documents that support the AKC’s dedication to its own heritage and to the sport of purebred dogs
  • Retaining select AKC departmental records
  • Providing public services archives to researchers and the general public

Administrative Authority

The American Kennel Club, recognizing the need for a professionally maintained archive for the retention of historically significant documents and other material, has instituted the following procedures for the AKC Archives.

The AKC Archives is responsible for assuring that “appropriate” (as set-forth by national archival standards) and historically significant material is permanently housed and preserved. Records selected may include, active, inactive and permanent documents; that is, active records, which each AKC Member Club and Parent Club utilizes for their own use (e.g. memoranda); inactive records, which are records that have been retained at AKC club facilities (e.g. event catalogs) and permanent records, which are records retained indefinitely at AKC Member Club and Parent Club facilities.

Collection Procedures

The AKC Archivist shall actively seek and identify appropriate materials and historically significant materials that include: correspondence, memorandum, meeting minutes, financial reports, research, contracts, reports, published materials, photographs and audio-visual material that the AKC and its Member Clubs and Parent Clubs generate.

The Archives shall also include material that documents the history of AKC breeds, the history of the AKC and AKC Member Clubs and Parent Clubs, interviews from significant contributors to the sport of purebred dogs and other related history. Material for this purpose may include original letters, handwritten documents, manuscripts, correspondence, original constitutions and/or by-laws, meeting minutes, articles of incorporation, charters, lists of prominent sires and dams (including photographs and pedigrees) labeled photographs, written or taped documentation on contributing individuals in the breed, news clippings, postcards, film, scrapbooks and small artifacts (e.g. historically significant trophies and ribbons/rosettes).

The AKC Archives shall collect documents from any AKC Member Clubs and Parent Clubs willing to submit material that falls under the parameters of AKC’s Collection Procedures.

Personal papers, which the AKC Archives deems appropriate and historically significant, shall also be permanently retained at the repository. Documents include professional research, published reports and other material.

The AKC Archives shall collect select AKC departmental records and executive officer records for permanent storage according to the AKC Archives Retention Schedule.

Ownership of AKC Member Club and Parent Club records shall be vested with the AKC Archives upon signature of a Deed of Gift form. Items that are owned and therefore copyrighted remain solely with the author (e.g. published books, photographs from professional photographers).

Under United States Copyright Law Title 17, the AKC Archives agrees to allow reproduction of all original material for research purposes. Permission to publish photographs and documents may be given to researchers with proper written permission.

Access Procedures

The AKC Archives is open to researchers, scholars and the general public. The AKC Archives strives to provide research-worthy material available remotely and through public services archives.

Restricted Access

Access to certain records may be restricted according to the following criteria:

  • Sensitivity of the material; this may include registration information that contains contact information or any material that may constitute invasion of privacy. Such information will remain closed for 75 years from date of creation or upon the individual’s death.
  • AKC Executive Officer records shall remain closed for 75 years from date of creation, other than those that have been made public.
  • Condition of the material; fragile items or items that are prone to deterioration can not be handled or photocopied by researchers.

Closed Records

The following records shall remain closed indefinitely.

  • The Board of Director’s meeting agendas and memorandum shall remain closed for public use. Access may only be granted by the AKC President or Executive Secretary to authorized AKC staff and current Board Members.
  • Any document that may, according to AKC’s General Counsel, expose the American Kennel Club to legal liability.