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Greyhound Club of America collection

Identifier: AKD-2-11

Scope and Contents

The Greyhound Club of America collection documents the activities, functions, decisionmaking, events, and output of the parent club devoted to the ancient sighthound. It chronicles an interesting point in the breed's history for the club, which must define its identity after both the largest non-profit greyhound adoption group, Greyhound Pets of America, and National Greyhound Adoption Program started in the late 1980s. The rescue of racing greyhounds received national attention, inciting larger public interest in greyhounds and subsequently the club, despite its interest in dogs bred specifically for conformation. The bulk of collection appears to have been assembled by Laurel E. Drew during her extended tenures as a club member (since the late 1960s), secretary (a post from which she retired in 1991), and librarian/ archivist. In the latter role, Drew worked with other members to preserve GCA records and other documentation of the breed. Later files between 1997 and 2001 were provided by Rose May Conner.

Club Administration includes annual and board meeting minutes dating back to 1958; copies of the original constitution and by-laws (1912) and articles of incorporation (1990); internal club handouts, memorandum and correspondence dating back to 1965; ingoing and outgoing mail handled by the GCA corresponding secretary, chiefly inquiries on the breed and club membership; committee reports; circulars, ballots, and other materials related to officer elections, rules revisions, and other club votes; membership directories and applications; regional and affiliate clubs, Laurel Drew's files contain miscellaneous correspondence and club handouts -- such as meeting resumes, code of ethics drafts, surveys -- and some personal material related to dogs she owned. The Archives files document historic research on the breed and donations to the GCA archives, which may include items that were ultimately donated to the AKC as part of this collection.

The Dog Shows materials represent only a small and incomprehensive sample of catalogs, premimum lists, programs and handouts, judges ballots, show writeups, correspondence and catalogs, chiefly from the 1980s and 1990s. Most relate to the club's Eastern and Western specialty events.

Publications and Printed Matter includes a selection of clippings and pamphlets pertaining to the breed and/or the club; a run of GCA newsletters dating from 1987 to 2002, some of which are the original proofs or pasteups; and the original galleys for the club's landmark publication Greyhounds in America. Some Publications Commitee correspondence and other documents, such as contracts, associated with the project are present, as well as copies of edited drafts for the book's "Conversations on the Breed" section of essays penned by prominent fanciers. The images used in the book are not represented, only notated, on the galleys.

General respect was paid to the original order of the files as they arrived, with folder labels assigned by Drew and other GCA members generally copied. For these reasons, correspondence, minutes, and other materials may also be scattered amongst various files. Similarly, documents related to Dog Shows and Publications may also be found in the Club Administration materials. Researchers are advised to consult all folders pertaining to time periods of interest.


  • 1889-2007
  • Majority of material found in 1989-2002


Historical Note

CLUB HISTORY The Greyhound Club of America was founded in 1907; formerly the breed was exhibited under the National Greyhound Club. The GCA, which priviledged the coursing type of Greyhound, was formally admitted into the AKC in 1909. Many of its original members -- including Joseph Zane Batten, Mr. & Mrs. George West, Mr. & Mrs. James A Farrell, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Forsyth and Susan Mason -- became pillars of the breed, importing foundation stock from England in the early 20th century. The annual meeting was held at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show as it continues to be to this day. By 1970, there were 66 members in the club, including officers Harry T. Peters, Mrs. William Brainad Jr., Mrs. James A. Farrell Jr., and Dr. Elsie Neustadt.

Documentation dates the earliest GCA specialty to 1936, held with the Morris and Essex show. Specialties continued intermittently until World War II, after which they became annual events, often held on member estates along the East coast. In 1968, the first Western Specialty was hosted in California and in 1992, the first Southern one in Texas. The Greyhound Club of Northern California also begin hosting a separate specialty in 1992.

The club has made philathropic contributions to various veterinary schools, including Cornell University, The University of Pennsylvania, the Morris Animal Foundation, and others. Through its partnership with Purina, the GCA has funded Greyhound-related canine research projects and provided significant funding to the Canine Health Foundation. The GCA provides for Greyhounds in need through its donations for Greyhound Rescue. Ethical Standards to which all members must subscribe were approved in 1993.

The first GCA newsletter, "Greyhound Gleanings," began in 1974, and was later replaced by "The Newsletter," which is published quarterly to this day. In 1990, the club completed its most ambitious iniative to date, "Greyhounds in America," a book which aimed to become the definitive reference on the breed and a educational guide for newcomers. Written and compiled by Sue A. Lackey, it includes extensive historical notes and pictures, significant kennel profiles, and covnersations on the breed with prominent fanciers Anne and James Edward Clark, Jane and Robert Forsyth, Frank Sabella, and more.

Adapted from the Greyhound Club of America website

BREED HISTORY Greyhounds were one of the first breeds registered with the AKC, and exhibit at American dog shows. The first Westminster Kennel Club show catalog (1877) lists 18 Greyhound entrants. The invention of the mechanical lure contributed to the establishment of the dog-racing industry in the 1920s, and the breed was adapted to race at top speed in a single direction around an oval track. There is a separate registry, run by the National Greyhound Association, for racing dogs.

The first evidence of the Greyhound appears in Egyptian tombs, circa 2900 BC. They were later favorted by Greeks and Romans for game-hunting, spreading throughout the ancient world as they proved adaptable to new environments. Portraits of royal families posing with Greyhounds grace castles across Europe, as many royalty kepy large kennels of hunting hounds and pets. By the 1800s they were being used on wild game in the American West. Today's show Greyhounds mostly descend from English and European coursing dogs imported during the 20th century.

Adapted from the AKC's The Complete Dog Book

Physical Description

7.1 Linear Feet (in 8 boxes (5 document boxes and 3 flat boxes))

Language of Materials



The Greyhound Club of America collection documents the activities, functions, decisionmaking, events, and output of the parent club devoted to the ancient sighthound. While it includes annual and board meeting minutes dating back to 1958, copies of the original constitution and by-laws (1912) and articles of incorporation (1990), and internal club handouts, memorandum and correspondence dating back to 1965, the bulk of it chronicles the 1980s and 1990s when racing greyhound rescue dominated the headlines and incited larger public interest in the breed and the club. Also present are show materials from their Eastern and Western specialty events and publications and printed matter, including the original galleys and related documentation for their landmark breed book "Greyhounds in America."

Related Materials

Club newsletters and other publications previously collected by the AKC Library may be searched using the online catalog, CAIUS.

Processing Information

All materials were rehoused in acidfree folders, envelopes, and/or boxes.



Guide to the Greyhound Club of America Collection
Brynn White
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