Scottish Terrier Club of America collection
Scope and Contents Note
The Scottish Terrier of America collection includes an overview of the club's activities and breed enthusiasm.
The bulk of the club's documents were preserved by the club in five binders, which are found in the Club Administration series and include meeting minutes (including minutes from the club's first annual meeting held on 19 Feb. 1902), financial statements, miscellaneous articles, correspondence, membership records, the club's Constitution and Bylaws, and breed standards from various points in the club’s history. Binders also include historic lists such as breed winners of various trophies and prizes over the years, Scottish Terrier stamps featuring President Franklin D. Roosevelt's beloved Scottish Terrier, Fala, and some photocopies of records from early breed shows.
Membership cards fill three boxes and range from 1960- 1992, with most falling in the last two decades. They are arranged based on the status of the member: active, nonpaying or deceased. Also present is the club's Standard Operating Procedure Manual, stud cards dating to the 1930s, and winners lists dating back to 1910, including shows such as Montgomery Kennel Club, which functions as a specialty for the STCA. Programs from the club's annual awards dinners round out the administrative records.
Dog show catalogs including catalogs from the club's national and rotating specialty shows, with a small amount of regional specialty catalogs. Some are only portions of the show's catalog that pertain to Scottish Terriers. Publications are divided into two groups, those published by the STCA and those published by others. Club publications include breed pamphlets, illustrated standards, club handbooks and yearbooks, and the club's long-running newsletter (now in magazine format), Non-Club Published Books and Media consists primarily of a collection donated by the club in 2017 of a variety of rare breed books, fiction, juvenalia, illustated reading books, and a Huey Lewis and the News record, either about or graphically featuring Scottish Terriers; some volumes are signed by their authors.
The Scrapbooks series contains some of the earliest history of the breed in America. The books, chiefly assembled in the between the 1920s and 1930s, contain clippings, photographs, and pedigrees for both English and American dogs. Most of the photographs are unidentified, but the clippings feature such dogs as Ch. Albourne Barty, Ch. Heather Essential, Diehard Mac, and Eleanor Roosevelt with Fala.
Finally, Photographs, Negatives, and Audiovisual materials consists of a number of albums that include photographs from as early as 1890. Three discs contain digital scans of famous Scottish Terrier photos. Negatives feature various dog show winners from 1979-1983. The collection concludes with a small selection of video from a Montgomery County Kennel Club show.
- c. 1890-2009
- Scottish Terrier Club of America (Organization)
Language of Materials
Materials are in English.
This material is open to research without restrictions.
Publishing and Use Restrictions
Many of the materials, particularly photographs, may still be under copyright and require permission of the AKC and/or the creator before publishing. Please consult the Archivist.
Biographical / Historical
The Scottish Terrier Club of America was founded on 1 Oct. 1900. The meeting minutes from the first annual meeting on 19 Feb. 1902 note that Mrs. Jack Brazier and her “small band of followers known in a jocular way as the Apostles” were the impetus behind its formation. The Scottish Terrier Club of America was preceded by a club called The American Scottish Terrier Club, which dissolved due to factions. The first meeting minutes also note that “it is to be regretted that the present club had to partly build on the ruins of the old structure…” However, the secretary goes on to resolve that the new club must lay its foundation carefully so as to withstand the test of tim, as it has since it was admitted as a member of the AKC in 1901 and has served as the parent club of the Scottish Terrier ever since.
The first annual meeting, held in the Ashland House in New York City, set the tone for the future of the club. During this meeting, the members of the club remarked with enthusiasm that there were already 42 members. Those present hoped to continue to expand the club in order to become the largest terrier specialty club in the United States. A parallel was drawn to Scottish Terriers in England, which were at that time quite close in numbers to the popular Fox Terriers. Members of the American club hoped to emulate this trend. However, they passed an important resolution to limit competition to American bred dogs at all club specials, highlighting the emphasis the club placed on American breeding programs.
A recent major club function has been the running of the The Health Trust Fund (HTF) of the STCA. This organization’s mission is to “detect and investigate health problems, monitor health in Scottish Terriers, participate in research to enhance prevention of illness…. and promote and encourage constructive attitudes towards health concerns.” The HTF was formed as a nonprofit organization on 4 Oct. 1994 after Gail Gaines had petitioned for it. She had been sending articles on health to Scottish Terrier owners and breeders for years and thought that a Health Trust Fund would be able to do even more. Its first major project was a health survey (1995) which was distributed to American, Canadian and European breeders in an attempt to provide a picture of the Scottish Terriers health and determine where future projects should be focused. A second similar survey was conducted in 2005. Today the HTF requests and evaluates research proposals from veterinary schools and funds those that closely relate to Scottish Terrier health.
The club had its first specialty show in 1910, with Walescott Invader going best of breed. The next specialty shows were held in 1915, 1916 and 1917. From 1922 onward, hardly a year went by without a specialty. February specialty shows in New York City were held in conjunction with the Associated Terrier Clubs from 1936-1965. Member numbers steadily increased, up to 500 by 1971. There was also a shift in their geographical dispersion; until the 1960’s, most STCA members, as well as Scottie owners and breeders, were East Coast based. The advent of the airplane made travel easier, and Scotties began to make their way westward and southward, creating the need for a rotating specialty show, the first of which was held in St. Louis in May 1965. Regional clubs have played an important role in the development of the club since that time. In their centennial year, 2000, there were 21 regional specialty clubs. The Scottish Terrier Club of America refers to these clubs as “the local extensions of the STCA.” Aside from putting on specialty shows and supporting regional club specialties, the STCA typically puts on at least one obedience trial, one agility trial and one earthdog trial each year.
The STCA offers approximately 20 awards towards which its members can work. The Frances G. Lloyd Memorial trophy is the oldest, awarded for the first time in 1921, and the most prestigious. There are also awards for stud dogs, juniors, and various other honors.
The Scottish Terrier originates from the Highlands of Scotland. It is unclear exactly when the breed emerged as a distinct type, since five modern-day terrier breeds come from Scotland (the others being the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Cairn Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, and Skye Terrier). In The History of Scotland from 1436-1561, John Leslie, Bishop of Ross, wrote of a likely predecessor: “a dog of low height, which creeping into subterraneous burrows routs out foxes, badgers, martens and wildcats lurking in their dens." All of these breeds are relatively short-legged and hardy, well suited to their original role of keeping Scottish farms rodent free. These terriers were bred to be fearless, hardy and small enough to go to ground in pursuit. They had rough coats that were suitable for the cold weather of the north and were sturdy little dogs. The qualities of this non-distinct early terrier are still valued in the Scottish Terrier of today.
It is also known that Scottish Terrier predecessors had a typical feisty terrier temperament. In fact, George Douglas, who was made the first earl of Dumbarton in 1675, kept a pack of terriers from Scotland that was so tough he called them the “Diehard Pack.” He later went on to name his favorite regiment, The Royal Scots, “Dumbarton’s Diehards” after his dogs. The nickname ‘Diehard’ has stuck with the Scottish Terrier to this day.
In The Book of the Scottish Terrier, Dr. Fayette C. Ewing of Nosegay Kennels suggests that the slight differences in leg and body length and color of the five Scottish breeds may have resulted from the geographical separation of the Scottish highlands, lowlands and moorlands. It is also argued that particular families had different aesthetic preferences when it came to their dogs and that from their breeding programs the separate breeds gradually diverged. There was a great deal of confusion in the mid-19th century about the correct standard and name for the one “Scottish Terrier.” Some used the name Skye Terrier, Highland Terrier or Aberdeen Terrier, all of these being regions of Scotland. Other names included the Scotch Terrier, Scots Terrier, Otter Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Diehard, and Sorty Terrier. There was a general confusion about which names were appropriate for which dogs. Somehow the five breeds gradually solidified out of this uncertainty.
In 1860, a show in Birmingham, England had the first Scottish Terrier class. By 1880, there were sufficient numbers in England to warrant a breed name and standard. The first breed club, the Scottish Terrier Club of England, was formed in 1882, preceding even the Scottish Terrier Club of Scotland, which was founded in 1888. These clubs developed definite ideas of what a “Scottish Terrier” should look like. Breeders began to select dogs very carefully to propagate the characteristics in the standard. Two major strains were started, one by English Ch. Allister and one by English Ch. Dundee. Nearly all present day Scotties descend from Ch. Allister who was whelped in 1885. Allister’s two most important descendents, English Ch. Albourne Barty (1925) and English Ch. Heather Necessity (1927) were a turning point for the Scottish Terriers. These dogs had shorter, more compact bodies and longer heads- characteristics that are visible in the modern day breed. American Scotties are mostly descended from Necessity, who was the most successful Scottish Terrier of his day in the show ring. A secondary group is descended from Barty.
John S. Naylor was the first to show Scottish Terriers in America. At a show in Pittsburgh in 1884, he exhibited Tam Glen and Bonnie Belle, dogs he had imported from England. They were entered in the Rough-Haired terrier class at the first show Mr. James Mortimer, an Englishman who became superintendent of the Westminster Kennel Club and was a longtime AKC delegate, ever judged in America. Mortimer was also a Scottish Terrier enthusiast, claiming that the dog “cannot be outrivaled by any other breed of terrier, or any other breed for that matter.” In letters to Dr. Fayette C. Ewing, Naylor notes that the breed did not catch on immediately in the United States. Some people initially were interested in the dogs since they had heard “Scotch Terriers” were excellent rodent catchers, but most were simply looking for a pet. Many thought the Scottish Terrier to be unattractive and aloof. Naylor was hard-pressed to sell the dogs. He showed until 1899 and then threw in the towel when it seemed his work was getting the breed nowhere.
A second attempt was made to popularize the breed by Mr. Henry Brooks and Mr. Oliver Ames around 1890. Mr. J. L. Little joined the campaign a bit later. These three spent a good deal of money and time importing dogs and started American breeding programs. However, they faced little serious competition in the show ring and could barely give away their dogs, let alone sell them, so they became discouraged.
Finally, in 1900 an American club was formed and the breed was put on a solid ground thanks to the efforts of Dr. Ewing. As S. S. Van Dine put it in the introduction he wrote for one of Ewing’s books, the man “has been one of the foremost breeders of Scottish terriers in this country, and he has probably had his finger in more Scottish terrier pies in the history of the Scottie in America than has any other man,” and his Nosegay Kennels enjoyed forty years of success and activity. Ch. Nosegay Sweet William, the most famous and successful of Ewing’s dogs, helped to bring the breed into favor with terrier lovers.
The breed steadily grew in popularity across the first half of the twentieth-century. Americans began to appreciate the Scottie for his fierce loyalty and spunk. In the 1940s the breed enjoyed a sudden increase in popularity, ranking the 3rd most popular purebred dog breed in the United States, owing in part to the fact that Franklin Roosevelt had a Scottie named Fala, who reportedly received more fan mail than many presidents did. The breed has since dropped in popularity rankings, ranking 45th in 2007 AKC registration statistics.
However, there are still many Scottish Terrier enthusiasts, who often reiterate the Francis G. Lloyd quote: “All dogs are good; any terrier is better; a Scottie is best.”
14.5 Linear Feet (in 21 boxes (14 doc boxes, 4 flat boxes, 1 record carton, and 2 mixed collection oversize storage))
The Scottish Terrier Club of America collection documents some of the club's administrative operations, club membership, breed shows, publications, and breed photos and scrapbooks. Significant holdings include meeting minutes, show catalogs (1976 to 2001) and a run of the club's newsletter The Bagpiper. In addition, scrapbooks dating from the 1920s and 1930s document the breed's early American history. Photographic and audiovisual materials include extensive win shots and photos of notable dogs dating as early as 1890.
The collection is arranged into six series based on subject and/or format:
- 1. Club Administration, 1902-2005
- 2. Dog Show Catalogs, 1904-2005
- 3. Club Publications, 1904-2009
- 4. Non-Club Published Books and Media, 1930-2001
- 5. Scrapbooks, c. 1920-1965
- 6. Photographs, Negatives, Audiovisual materials, c. 1890-2005
Gift of the Scottish Terrier Club of America, 2007. Additional materials donated in 2017.
- Black-and-white photographs
- Breed Specialty Shows
- Breed standards
- Breed standards -- Illustrated
- Christmas cards
- Magazines (periodicals)
- Membership lists
- Scottish terrier
- Stud dog cards
- Terriers (group)
- black-and-white negatives
- printed ephemera
- Guide to the Scottish Terrier Club of America Collection
- Originally processed by Kari Dalane; Additions, edits, and conversion of legacy finding aid by Brynn White, 2016. Some editing and additions by Katie Bednark in 2018.
- 2007; updates in 2016 and 2018.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note