The Beginnings of the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library
The W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library (WKKAHL) is the world’s largest publicly available collection on the Arabian horse. The collection includes current, rare, and out-of-print materials including books, stud books, periodicals, audiovisual materials, and archival collections. The WKKAHL is a part of the Cal Poly Pomona University Library's Special Collections and Archives unit and is open to anyone interested in the Arabian horse.
Cal Poly Pomona is located on the site of cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg’s Arabian horse ranch. Kellogg built the ranch in 1925 in Pomona, California to fulfill his life-long dream of breeding outstanding Arabian horses. As part of his interest in the breed, Kellogg began to collect books and research materials on the Arabian horse. Kellogg donated the horses, ranch, and other property to the state of California in 1932. However, the records do not indicate what happened to Mr. Kellogg's books. However, books on the Arabian horse were a regular topic of correspondence between Kellogg and the custodians of the ranch between 1939-1948.
The ranch was operated by the University of California’s College of Agriculture from 1932 until 1943 when it was transferred to the War Department and became known as the Pomona Quartermaster Depot (Remount). The Remount was demobilized in 1949 and the land and horses transferred again to the state of California. The state decided to use the gift for the growing California State University system and the property was combined with the Voorhis Unit of Cal Poly in nearby San Dimas. The Voorhis Unit had been established in 1938 as the southern branch of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. The two campuses were known as the Kellogg-Voorhis Unit until 1956, when the school had outgrown the Voorhis campus and all instruction was moved to the Kellogg campus. The Kellogg Unit formally separated from San Luis Obispo in 1966 and eventually became known as California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
The Arabian Horse Collection
"Little is known of the origin of the Arabian Horse Collection, except that it had its beginnings on the Voorhis Campus. Several of the volumes were transferred from the stables and still retain ranch or Remount Station ownership marks" (The Arabian Horse Collection, An Annotated Bibliography of Select Titles, 1974)
The first volumes of what was known as the Arabian horse collection were probably transferred from the Kellogg stables to the Voorhis campus library between 1938 (when the campus opened) and 1943 (when it closed due to World War II). The collection was moved back to the Kellogg Campus in 1956 when the new library opened. The materials were shelved in a glass case and allowed to circulate. Materials continued to be transferred from the stables to the library and by the 1970s it was decided that the collection would no longer circulate and should have more protective housing. A separate room was constructed on the main floor of the University Library in 1975. There were 70 volumes in the collection at the time.
From 1975 through the 1980s a concerted effort was made to expand the Arabian horse collection and it grew to one of the largest collections on the Arabian horse in the world. In recognition of this elite standing, and in view of the continued financial support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Arabian horse collection was renamed the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library in 1982. The collection grew enormously in 1989 when the library received the personal library and archival papers of Arabian horse expert and artist Gladys Brown Edwards.
In Search of a New Home
In the 1990s the WKKAHL was separated from the University Library, administered by University Advancement, and stored in the Bronco Student Center, building 35. The Bronco Student Center underwent seismic retrofitting, asbestos abatement, and other structural improvements in 2001 and the collection was moved into a room in the old Kellogg Stables, which by then had been converted into offices and renamed the University Union (building 26). Only about 10% of the collection was readily available due to staffing and space restrictions.
Seeing the need for an improved space for this unique and historic collection, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded the university a $5,000,000 grant in 2006 to construct a new facility for the WKKAHL. The new library was initially planned to be built outside the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center, though this did not come to fruition. By 2010, administration of the WKKAHL reverted to the University Library and the grant was used to construct a dedicated space for the collection within the University Library (building 15). The new library opened in 2012 and is located on the first floor of the University Library.
The W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library is located on the
1st floor of the University Library (Building 15).
General Inquiries, please contact the main desk:
email@example.com / 909-869-3775
For more information or to schedule a tour or an appointment, please contact:
Katie Richardson, Head of Special Collections and Archives: firstname.lastname@example.org / 909-869-3109
Alexis Adkins, Archivist for Special Collections and Archives: email@example.com / 909-869-3092
The W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library is open Monday - Friday 10:00am-12:00pm and 2:00pm-4:00pm and by appointment.
Check the University Library's hours for holiday and term closures.
Advance notice of your visit, although not required, is recommended in order to ensure availability of materials and staff assistance.