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The Peters Family and Windholme Kennel papers

Identifier: AKE-20-4

Scope and Contents Note

The monographs, catalogues, and prints chiefly relate to the collecting hobbies and scholarship of Harry S. Peters, Sr. Particularly notable are a catalog from the first-ever Westminster Kennel Club dog show (under its original name the "New York Bench Show") and an extensive personal hand-written bibliography of sporting books deemed essential to a "sportsman's library." The latter compiles first editions and listing prices, and excludes American books. Other materials include catalogues, bound article clippings, and prints all containing printed illustrations with hunting themes.

The following two series are associated with the dog breeding and showing activities of Harry S. Peters. Jr. manuscripts (1926-1952; bulk: 1929- 1939) include pedigrees, chiefly for Greyhounds; AKC stud book registration certificates for Cocker Spaniels, Pointers, and Smooth Fox Terriers; registration applications for Smooth Fox Terriers; and 1930s clippings on Peters and Windholme Kennel dogs. Also present are AKC correspondence confirming champion status of several Peters-bred greyhounds and championship certificates for the prior mentioned breeds as well as Whippets and Dandie Dinmont Terriers. Manuscript materials are arranged by format and date.

The realia series (1954-1967; bulk: 1954-1959) is chiefly comprised of show ribbons, in addition to show medallions and one dog tag (for "Pat," owned by H. Hohmann). The ribbons are for a variety of classes and placements and most are awards from significant shows held by the Westminster Kennel Club, Eastern Dog Club, and International Kennel Club of Chicago, in addition to a 1957 Winners ribbon from the final 1957 show of the historic Morris & Essex Kennel Club. Realia are arranged by format and club.


  • 1930-1969


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Restrictions

This material is open to research without restrictions.

Publishing and Use Restrictions

Please consult the Archivist regarding publishing of materials.

Biographical Note

Windholme Kennels was chiefly operated by Harry S. Peters, Jr., but its over 50-year history of reflects the passion and dedication passed on through three generations of sportsmen and dog fanciers.

Businessman, Americana collector, historian, sportsman, and Westminster Kennel Club chairman Harry Twyford Peters (1881-1948) was born in Greenwich, Connecticut. He inherited considerable wealth and land from his father Samuel T. Peters (1954- 1921), founder of coal business William and Peters and owner of 300 acres of waterfront property on the Great South Bay of Long Island’s Gold Coast. The Peters’ Windholme estate featured a private fishing camp, stable of polo ponies, kennel, gardens, and mansion. Peters Sr. was president of the Long Island riding club and an oriental art connoisseur. Young Harry spent much of his childhood on the shooting grounds and kennels just south of the Westminster club house frequented by his father, when he began working with Beagles and Pointers and formed his lifelong love for horses, dogs, polo and hunting. He later enjoyed a brief stint in the Buffalo Bill show.

Peters established Windholme Kennels at the turn of the century in Islip, Long Island. Champions over the years included an extensive range of breeds including Dalmatians, Beagles, Dachshunds, and Chows. In 1901 his 5-year-old bitch Ch. Windholme’s Bangle, became the first Beagle to win Best in Show and he was generally respected as a breeder successful with both bench and field dogs. Peters became Westminster’s delegate in 1904 and judged numerous shows between 1906 and 1931. He was master of the Meadow Brook Hounds, one of the most famous packs in America in the early 20th-century, between 1925 and 1948.

Harry S. Peters attended Columbia University and held partnership in his father’s business until 1945, also serving tenures as director of the New York Trust Company and the Fairbanks Company. During the first war he was a member of the Fuel Administration and during the second, Civilian Defense Director for Suffolk County. He was an avid collector of sporting prints, earning an international reputation as the foremost expert on Currier and Ives and publishing several collectors guides in addition to other works on lithography. He served as president of the Grolier Club from 1939 to 1943 and in 1947 was awarded the New-York Historical Society’s fifth Gold Medal for Achievement in History for his contributions to the history of the graphic arts and social history. At his death in 1948 he was one of the oldest living members of the Westminster Kennel Club.

His son, Harry T. Peters, Jr. (1910-1981) became involved with the kennel in 1929, shifting priority attention to greyhounds with the procurement of foundation stock Gamecock Dashing Warrior and Gamecock Dancing Witch from George West. Peters, known as “Bud,” won back-to-back wins as owner and handler in Westminster’s newly created Hound Group in 1931 and 1932 with Ch. Gamecock Duke of Wales. The AKC Gazette noted Windholme’s remarkable Westminster successes in 1933 and 1937. The Peters have sometimes been credited with showing the first Bedlington Terrier, Old English Sheepdog, and first pack of Beagles in hunt livery . Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Windholme also engaged in breeding programs in Whippets, Cockers, Pointers, Norwich, Standard Schnauzers, Dandie Dinmonts, and Smooth Fox Terriers.

Peters served as president of the Greyhound and Whippet Clubs of America. In 1938, he became Westminster’s show chairman and immediately brought unique flourish to the event, including the first ever sheep herding demo and the personal employ of Caledonian bagpipers to accompany the performance. He was a highly respected Beagle and Foxhound judge, and judged Westminster nine times between 1950 and 1976, selecting an Old English Sheepdog as Best in Show. His final import was in 1972, and he gradually disbanded the kennel and concentrated on cattle, quarter horses, and sheep until his death in 1981.

Sources: Amy Fernandez, "Windholme Kennel: Putting Greyhounds on the Map," Canine Chronicle, May 2014. Albert K. Baragwanath, "Harry T. Peters: A Collector's Collector," Imprint, November 1977.

Physical Description

3 Linear Feet (in 2 oversize boxes.)


The collection is comprised of monographs and other print materials of collector Harry S. Peters, Sr., including a catalog for the first ever Westminster Dog Show and items related to hunting libraries; and manuscripts (bulk: 1929-1939) and realia (bulk: 1954-1959) related to the the dog breeding and showing activities of his son Harry S. Peters, Jr., long-time dog judge, Westminster show chair, and operator of Windholme Kennels in West Islip, Long Island. Materials include pedigrees, registration applications and certificates, champion certificates, show ribbons (Westminster Kennel Club, Eastern Dog Club, International Kennel Club of Chicago, Morris & Essex Kennel Club). Breeds documented include Greyhounds, for which Windholme was most renowned, as well as Cocker Spaniels, Pointers, Smooth Fox Terriers, Whippets, English Toy Spaniels, and Dandie Dinmont Terriers.


The collection is arranged into 3 series based on format:


  1. Monographs, Catalogues, and Prints, 1877-1954
  2. Manuscripts, 1926-1952
  3. Realia, 1954-1969


The monographs and book log were accessioned by AKC in 1996, likely with the donation of Peters's library. Evidence indicates the manuscripts and realia were purchased in a 2008 auction by former AKC Librarian Barbara Volk, who donated them to the Library.

Related Materials

The AKC Library & Archives holds five volumes from the library of Harry T. Peters. For more information, contact the Archivist.

The Museum of the City of New York holds the Harry T. Peters papers, a collection of manuscripts, correspondence, ephemera, publications, prints, and photographs documenting Peters Sr.’s activities as a collector, scholar of American printmaking, published author, lecturer, and avid sportsman

Guide to the Peters Family and Windholme Kennels papers
Brynn White
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the American Kennel Club Library & Archives Repository

101 Park Ave
FL 5
New York NEW YORK 10178 United States