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American Kennel Club Charter, Constitution, and By-Laws Collection

Identifier: AKA-4

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.


  • 1885-2013


Access Restrictions

This material is open to research without restrictions.

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.

Physical Description

.83 Linear Feet (in two document boxes)

Language of Materials



Arranged chronologically.


Guide to the American Kennel Club Charter, Constitution, and By-Laws Collection
In Progress
Processing and draft finding aid completed by Norma Rosado-Blake in October 2006. Additions, edits, and conversion of legacy finding aid to ArchivesSpace by Katie Bednark in 2016.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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