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Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club Of America collection

Identifier: AKD-7-16

Scope and Contents

The collection documents the club's activities since its founding in 1936, and is fairly comprehensive in nature.

Club administration includes meeting minutes since the PWCCA inception, as well as its early by-laws and articles of incorporation. Of note are the original handwritten notes from their first and second years of existence which are found in the ledger. The 4 August 1949 meeting minutes were printed on delicate onion paper. The two page minutes were photocopied onto acid-free paper and originals placed in a polypropylene sleeve. A noteworthy item is the extract of minutes, dating from the first meeting in 1936 until 1962, which summarizes all major decisions in the early part of the club’s history. The meeting minutes from 1949 to 1993 were removed from their original binder. Contained within the meeting minutes are also valuable correspondence, incorporation papers, breed standards, membership lists, and other pertinent information.

Financial records are extensive for the years 1999 to 2004, but restricted from public access. These include all manner of bank statements, treasurer's reports, contracts, tax forms, deposits, etc., but also specific material related to club initiatives such as memorial and scholarship funds, publications, and more. Financial ledgers dated 1970 to 1975 are available for review.

Dog shows includes catalogs, photographs, and some premium lists for National Specialties from the early 1970s through early 2000. The correspondence files contain a wealth of other documentation of National Specialty show logistics and planning, as related to photographers, venues, awards, judging, entries, catalog production, and more.

Within Publications are a nearly complete run of the PWC newsletter, which was issued four times a year beginning in November 1961. In addition to numerous breed books, there are substantial runs of the handbook of England's Welsh Corgi League (1958-2007) and the PWCCA's own handbook Corgis in America (1970-2003).

Photographs, Slides, and Illustrations include illustrations made of the breed standard circa 1975, as well as photographs and negatives from the club’s Corgis in America publication, which has been issued each year since circa 1969. Several issues contain not only the image of the dog, but also a pedigree. The bulk of the negatives were placed in negative envelopes whereas a few were stored in Melinex® polyester or polypropylene sleeves. There are several rare photos such as an image of Mrs. Douglas-Redding and Eng. Am. Ch. Sierra Bowhit Pivot, the first American Pembroke champion. This series constitutes the bulk of the collection.


  • 1935-2004


Access Restrictions

All post-2000 financial records, as well as a select correspondence file, are restricted. The remainining materials are open to researchers.

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

Club History The club held their first meeting on 12 February 1936 in conjunction with the Westminster dog show and admitted as an AKC member the following year. Their first specialty was held shortly thereafter. The club shares close ties with the Welsh Corgi League (UK); the League provides a section on American Corgis in their yearly handbook. During the 1950s the club asked Queen Elizabeth to join the American club as an honorary member. Although Her Majesty was apparently, according to her secretary, delighted that an American Corgi club had been formed, she declined membership based on protocol.

The club has done much to publicize the breed including its handbook, Corgis in America, which has been published since 1970. It is a compendium of articles, pedigrees and breeder referrals.

Breed History There is much mystery surrounding the breed’s origin. As its name implies there is a long history associated with Wales, which is where its earliest history and legend lies. Additionally, there are many theories surrounding its true history. A popular legend in Welsh lore finds the breed originating in feudal England. While tending to cattle on the lords’ land, two children found a pair of ‘foxlike’ puppies, which they presented to the adults. The adults, indulging children as it may be, replied that they were a gift from the fairies. It is believed the breed became instrumental to these people by toting carriages and herding cattle. Some truth behind the legend still exists. It is believed that the Welsh Corgi “…still bears the marks over his shoulders of the little saddle used by his fairy riders.” Yet there are theories abound as to when the Corgi originated. One theory suggests that the breed dates back to the Egyptian period, however, it is more plausible that it dates to ancient Welsh history. This holds much weight since during the 10th century, the Laws of Hywel Dda, were created to, among other things, place a value on herding dogs, or herdsmen cur, which were killed or stolen. It is difficult to determine if, in fact, these dogs were true precursors to the Corgi, however, it is evident that herding dogs had an important role in Welsh life.

Still two more hypotheses, W. Lloyd-Thomas’ theory and Hubbard’s theory, provide for a more conceivable history. Lloyd-Thomas was an expert on the breed and according to his research believed the Pembroke and Cardigan were developed as two separate breeds. Other research contradicts this.

The Hubbard’s theory believes the Pembroke and Cardigan were developed via the Vikings. From Sweden the Vikings brought the Vallund, which was crossed with a native Welsh herding dog during the ninth and tenth centuries. This theory also states that their ancestors include breeds from the Spitz family such as the Schipperke brought by Flemish weavers. Eventually the dog came into favor with Henry I of England which ultimately influenced English life. Yet a third hypothesis by Iris Combe agrees with Hubbard, however there is one marked difference. She postulates that Stone Age people on the British Isles may have utilized wild dogs in securing birds for sustenance and pagan rituals. Celtic tribes then moved to the British Isles and Scandinavia where greyhound like dogs mated with local dogs. It’s postulated that one breed, the Lundehund or Puffin dog is an ancestor of the Corgi. As the most recent research, Combe’s theory holds much weight in Pembroke history. With theories abound almost all agree on the Pembrokes’ modern history.

The breed’s recorded history finds them in 19th-century England as a working dog. The also made their way to the show ring with the first Pembroke shown at the Bancyfelin Horticultural and Agricultural Society show in 1892. Fast forward over thirty years later and the dog was shown under the Kennel Club’s (UK) rules in a separate class. In 1925 the English establish the world’s first Corgi club dedicated to serving primarily the Pembroke. The following year a separate club for the Cardigan was established.

In 1933, Mrs. Lewis Roesler (later Mrs. Edward Renner) imported the first Pembroke to America. She had an already flourishing kennel, Merriedip Kennels, which produced toping winning Old English Sheepdogs. She also owned the first Pembroke registered with the AKC in 1934, Ch. Little Madam of Merriedip. Other kennels that influenced the breed included: Waseeka, Andelys and Cote de Neige Kennels.

Its original function as a herding dog continues to influence the breed’s behavior today. Because their herding instinct is so strong, owners must properly train their Pembroke. However, given its hardwired to herd, they do make ideal family pets. The breed is known for it intelligence, versatility and determination.

Physical Description

26.3 Linear feet : in 47 boxes (1 oversize flat box, 8 cartons, 37 document boxes, 1 flat photo box)

Language of Materials



The collection documents the club's activities since its founding in 1936, and is fairly comprehensive in nature. Highlights include meeting minutes dating back to the beginning; catalogs, photographs, and correspondence files for National Specialties from the early 1970s through early 2000s; comprehensive runs of the club newsletters and handbooks; and an extensive series of photographs and negatives, sometimes accompanied by pedigrees, depicting important dogs of the breed.


The collection is arranged into five series based on subject and format:

  1. Club Administration, 1936-2004
  2. Financial Records, 1960-2004
  3. Dog Shows, 1960-2006
  4. Publications, 1961-2003
  5. Visual Materials, 1935-2004


A gift from Sandi Eaton, on behalf of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America, in 2008.

Guide to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America Collection
Norma Rosado-Blake; Later additions, edits, and conversion of legacy finding aid by Brynn White
2008; 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