American Kennel Club Library & Archives

AKD 2.11 Greyhound Club of America collection Edit


AKD 2 11
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of Description


  • 1889-2007 (Creation)
  • 1989-2002 (Creation)

Physical Description

  • 6.85 Linear Feet (Whole)
    in 8 boxes (5 doc boxes and 3 flat boxes)

Agent Links



  • Abstract

    The Greyhound Club of America collection documents the activities, functions, decisionmaking, events, and output of the parent club devoted to the ancient sighthound. While it includes annual and board meeting minutes dating back to 1958, copies of the original constitution and by-laws (1912) and articles of incorporation (1990), and internal club handouts, memorandum and correspondence dating back to 1965, the bulk of it chronicles the 1980s and 1990s when racing greyhound rescue dominated the headlines and incited larger public interest in the breed and the club. Also present are show materials from their Eastern and Western specialty events and publications and printed matter, including the original galleys and related documentation for their landmark breed book "Greyhounds in America."

  • Historical Note

    CLUB HISTORY The Greyhound Club of America was founded in 1907; formerly the breed was exhibited under the National Greyhound Club. The GCA, which priviledged the coursing type of Greyhound, was formally admitted into the AKC in 1909. Many of its original members -- including Joseph Zane Batten, Mr. & Mrs. George West, Mr. & Mrs. James A Farrell, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Forsyth and Susan Mason -- became pillars of the breed, importing foundation stock from England in the early 20th century. The annual meeting was held at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show as it continues to be to this day. By 1970, there were 66 members in the club, including officers Harry T. Peters, Mrs. William Brainad Jr., Mrs. James A. Farrell Jr., and Dr. Elsie Neustadt.

    Documentation dates the earliest GCA specialty to 1936, held with the Morris and Essex show. Specialties continued intermittently until World War II, after which they became annual events, often held on member estates along the East coast. In 1968, the first Western Specialty was hosted in California and in 1992, the first Southern one in Texas. The Greyhound Club of Northern California also begin hosting a separate specialty in 1992.

    The club has made philathropic contributions to various veterinary schools, including Cornell University, The University of Pennsylvania, the Morris Animal Foundation, and others. Through its partnership with Purina, the GCA has funded Greyhound-related canine research projects and provided significant funding to the Canine Health Foundation. The GCA provides for Greyhounds in need through its donations for Greyhound Rescue. Ethical Standards to which all members must subscribe were approved in 1993.

    The first GCA newsletter, "Greyhound Gleanings," began in 1974, and was later replaced by "The Newsletter," which is published quarterly to this day. In 1990, the club completed its most ambitious iniative to date, "Greyhounds in America," a book which aimed to become the definitive reference on the breed and a educational guide for newcomers. Written and compiled by Sue A. Lackey, it includes extensive historical notes and pictures, significant kennel profiles, and covnersations on the breed with prominent fanciers Anne and James Edward Clark, Jane and Robert Forsyth, Frank Sabella, and more.

    Adapted from the Greyhound Club of America website

    BREED HISTORY Greyhounds were one of the first breeds registered with the AKC, and exhibit at American dog shows. The first Westminster Kennel Club show catalog (1877) lists 18 Greyhound entrants. The invention of the mechanical lure contributed to the establishment of the dog-racing industry in the 1920s, and the breed was adapted to race at top speed in a single direction around an oval track. There is a separate registry, run by the National Greyhound Association, for racing dogs.

    The first evidence of the Greyhound appears in Egyptian tombs, circa 2900 BC. They were later favorted by Greeks and Romans for game-hunting, spreading throughout the ancient world as they proved adaptable to new environments. Portraits of royal families posing with Greyhounds grace castles across Europe, as many royalty kepy large kennels of hunting hounds and pets. By the 1800s they were being used on wild game in the American West. Today's show Greyhounds mostly descend from English and European coursing dogs imported during the 20th century.

    Adapted from the AKC's The Complete Dog Book

  • Processing Information

    All materials were rehoused in acidfree folders, envelopes, and/or boxes.

  • Scope and Contents

    Breed History research and clippings files contain both originals and photocopies of Mastiff articles, pamphlets, illustrations, research notes, kennel ads, show reports/results, pedigrees, registrations, ephemera and further published information dating back to 1890 1970s and 1980s candid photographs and win shots originally present in the files, have been removed and stored separately. Some items are relate to organizations such as the American Mastiff Club and Old English Mastiff Club (including a catalog from its first ever show in 1890). Canadian pedigrees, champion and breeder lists, and a collection of photographs and plates of late-19th century Mastiff champions are also present. A small personal collection of the Chapman family, prominent early 20th-century British breeders, contains images of their two major imports, Mattesdon Tondelayo and Bernardo of Pinetrees, and correspondence regarding the donation of the latter to the Yale University Peabody Museum of Natural History for study supporting their breed preservation program.

    The Club Administration files hold records of the club's functions and operations dating back to 1938: constitution and by-laws revisions, news bulletins and memos, meeting minutes, officer correspondence, memebership lists, financial documents and receipts, officer nominations and ballots, committee reports, questionnaires, documentation of the organizations the Canadian Mastiff Club and North & East Mastiff Fanciers, and more. The files appear to have been assembled by the club's historian-archivist Patricia Hoffman, whose personal letters and judges ribbon from the first MCOA independent specialty in 1983 are present in addition to correspondence establishing the mission of the club archives. The late 1980s, a tumultuous period suggesting a need for rehaul of club administration, are chronicled. Documents retained by Marissa Clements between 1985 and 2008, including meeting minutes and Judges Education Commitee materials, have been maintained separately.

    Dog Shows materials include marked catalogs, premium lists, various handouts, and photographs dating back to the first independent independent MCOA Specialty in 1983. Some MCOA show committee, related correspondence, and other materials are present but researchers are also advised to consult the Club Administration files. Also present is audovisual footage of the 2007 Specialty and a small selection of ribbons, medals, and other souvenirs from MCOA and other events.

    Publications and Printed Matter features the parent club’s newsletters as well as many regional and select international newsletters. The MCOA’s first newsletter was published in 1965, with the name "The Journal" added in the fall of 1974. The earliest newsletters, and issues of the later "MCOA Bulletin," are in the collection, complimenting the runs held by the AKC Library. Newsletters for organizations the Midwest Mastiff Fanciers, Old English Mastiff Club Nederland, Canadian Mastiff Club, and more are present in addition to a substantive run of the Old English Mastiff Club newsletter (as well as a handbook and annual report for the EDMC). MCOA breed columns for the AKC Gazette and further Mastiff articles, pamphlets, books, and ephemera round out this group.

    The Canine Health and Genetic Data contains a Dysplasia Control Registry (1974-2001) and a variety of further health registries, reports, and related correspondence dating between 1992 and 2000, including collaboration and communications with the Canine Eye Registration Foundation and Institute for Genetic Disease Control in Animals.

    The bulk of the Mastiff Club of America (MCOA) collection documents the period beginning in the 1970s when the Mastiff breed signficicantly raised in popularity, which also required dedicated work to combat puppy mills and overbreeding.

  • Related Materials

    Club newsletters and other publications previously collected by the AKC Library may be searched using the online catalog, CAIUS.