Special Collections at the Library

Special collections

The Library houses a treasure trove of special collections. To mention a few: The Edwin Brough Bloodhounds and Abingerwood Bloodhound original archives; the Gwendoline Angel Saluki Archives; a complete history of the Golden Retriever in original archives starting with Lord Tweedmouth's own Stud Book and the Elma Stonex papers; the Margaret Barnes English Setter Papers; Mrs Winstanley  Boreham's Fox Terrier archive, the Captain Tudor-Crosthwaite scrap book and many other important Fox Terrier papers. 

Recently, the Library has been collecting dog-centred political prints and engravings. Almost since the birth of the medium, prints have been used to disseminate political and social commentary. This kind of satire, often very vicious, has a long tradition in Britain and at the end of the 18thCentury and the first two decades of the 19thCentury, James Gilray, Thomas Rowlandson and George Cruikshank established a tradition of political and social satire that continues to this day. These pictures framed are in the library now and will add to the aesthetics of the new library.

Here is a picture called Trois Dogs by John Doyle 1797-1868. John Doyle was an important political caricaturist using the pen name of H B. It is a hand - coloured lithograph dated November 24 1834 entitled "A graphic tale with a moral for those who can find it". We have a dog fighting scene presided over by an enthralled John Bull-like character, representing the electorate of the day. The two dogs are Robert Peel and Lord Melbourne who were at that time in dispute over leadership of party and country. Meanwhile in the background a crafty Duke of Wellington stalks off with the 'bone 'of power. At this time Parliament was much taken up with the passing of the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835. This important piece of legislation relating to blood sports was, for many, a distraction of the day and whilst time was being 'wasted' on it, far more important matters of electoral reform for example took second place

The Kennel Club Library is undoubtedly a valuable and unique repository for documenting the profile and nature of the dog - historically, scientifically, aesthetically, culturally and politically. The Library already contains valuable collections and rare books.  With new significant additions to the library, it is becoming world class.

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