American Kennel Club Library & Archives

AKA 4.0 American Kennel Club Charter, Constitution, and By-Laws Collection Edit




  • 1885-2013 (Creation)

Physical Description

  • 2 Linear Feet (Whole)
    In two document boxes

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  • Arrangement

    Arranged chronologically.

  • Scope and Contents

    This collection includes the American Kennel Club's Charter, Constitution, and By-laws and their amendments from 1885 to 2013. These documents are generally published in one compilation, with early publications also including rules and regulations governing dog shows and clubs, which were separately published beginning in the early 1930s. The constitution describes the organizational structure of the AKC, while the by-laws outline the structure for meetings and procedures. The collection contains both marked and unmarked publications.

  • Access Restrictions

    This material is open to research without restrictions.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item, date (if known)]; American Kennel Club Charter, Constitution, and By-Laws Collection, AKA 4, [Box and Folder number]; American Kennel Club Archives.

  • Historical Note

    In September 1884, thirteen clubs' delegates met at the Philadelphia Kennel Club in response to Messrs. J.M. Taylor and Elliot Smith's desire to create a "Club of clubs" to oversee bench shows and field trial matters. The American Kennel Club was formed as a result of this meeting in October 1884 with a newly drafted constitution and by-laws and five elected officers. Breed standards, the formation of committees, and Executive Committee duties were later added to these governing documents. In 1888, the constitution was amended to require publication of an official Stud-Book and a Kennel Gazette. By 1906, the AKC was incorporated and a Board of Directors created. In 1909, the club re-incorporated, simplifying and clarifying its constitution and by-laws and separating the Rules and Regulations of Dog Shows and Rules Governing Clubs from the by-laws. These rules were separately published beginning in the early 1930s.

    Source: The American Kennel Club staff and Charles A.T. O'Neill, eds. The American Kennel Club 1884-1984: A Source Book. New York: Howell Book House. 1985.