Track 7/23b: Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 - Scherzo
|Keddell Memorial Trophy|
They claim the title as the largest publicly accessible and professionally staffed library on this subject in Europe. However, while the AKC Library in New York holds more volumes, they do not have a professional staff to operate the library let alone to aid in research, so while they may want to be cautious, this blog will go ahead and bestow the more appropriate title-end 'in the world.' The library has around 8,000 monographs and serials relating to the training, care, breeding, and history of dogs, a picture library of over 100,000 images and about 300 art pieces (which makes it the largest collection of dog paintings in Europe). They actively collect new materials on canine subjects, and they also aim to collect rare and valuable works with the financial support of the Kennel Club Arts Foundation. The oldest item in the collection is a volume from 1598 which is a book of law describing different licenses and detailing what breeds could be owned by various classes.
Many come here and contact this library for all kinds of canine research for books or articles they are writing or television segments they are producing, and other individuals require assistance for personal research to explore one breed or another, trace a pedigree, or investigate the history of relatives in the dog show world. I was so lucky to be able to spend over two hours with Ciara Farrell, the Library & Collections manager. She answered my countless questions, relayed the history of the library and guided me around to see the collections. We even went up to the swanky member club so that I could see a few more of the paintings, especially An Early Canine Meeting from 1855 which depicts in the pre-Kennel Club days when the earliest dog shows took place in taverns .(You can check out a very brief history of dog art here and see an image of that painting).
The Kennel Club lucked into a land deal as a developer wants this building, and they'll be able to relocate just next door in 2 years and they are in the advanced stages of planning the new library which will incorporate a purpose-built design with all the relevant environmental controls and convertible shelving they desire. Along with this move they will be progressing with their digitization efforts as well. My hope is that this will create new positions they will need to fill by hiring me! This was a fantastic experience, and my only regret about it is that I wish I had been able to make this appointment earlier in my trip so that I would have had an opportunity to go back and explore the collection more.