Library Committee

Ellie Bonde, Chairperson
Mount Airy, Maryland

Committee Members:
Ellie Bonde, MD
Sharon Barnes, KS
Johnny Haussner, PA
Deb Morrison, OK
Kevin Whaley, CA

Mission Statement

“Dedicated to the collection and preservation of rabbit and cavy items important to the history of the American Rabbit Breeders Association that can be shared with members through a variety of formats.”

Goals of the Library Committee


The ARBA Hall of Fame Library is strictly funded through donations. There are no monies appropriated through the ARBA’s general account, nor are grants given through the US Department of Agriculture. We have been classified through the Internal Revenue Service as a Non-Profit Organization with 501 ( c )( 3 ) status, therefore all donations are tax deductible. Donations have come from individual members when they join or renew their membership with the ARBA, as memorials for a loved one, special fund raising projects during shows, such as auctions and raffles. Local, state and national specialty clubs also contribute to the library’s causes with yearly fund appropriations or should a club become defunct. Contributions of $500.00 or more secures the donor’s name on the main plaque which hangs at the entrance to the library.


Much of the collection is extremely old and rare in the recorded history of the domestic rabbit and cavy from the America, United Kingdom and/or internationally. Some books can be extremely fragile as well as the many old magazines from our last century. Book binding is a very time consuming task, which must be done by no less than a professional restorer. Items within the collection are bound or rebound as funding becomes available. The displaying and the protection of these rare items must be done using proper archival materials for the future of these precious finds for our future generations.


There are hundreds, if not thousands of items still out there to be found, and too, at affordable prices that would greatly enhance the library’s growing collection. The ARBA Hall of Fame Library has been extremely fortunate in that older members have donated items that they have collected over the years. Members have found items at flea markets, garage sales, thrift stores and second hand shops. Shopping through the internet, such as eBay, have turned up some amazing treasures of historical note. People will often contact the Library Committee with items that they have for sale, but because of limited funding, often we are

unable to purchase these pieces at the time they are being offered. It should be noted that material items donated to the library are also tax deductible.

Cataloging and Documenting

There isn’t much point in having such a world class library of rabbit and cavy history if we don’t know what is held within the collection. It became necessary for the ARBA Hall of Fame Library to install the Mandarin M3 automation system on the library’s computer. This is one of the most advanced library computer systems used by institutions throughout the world. Our library is fortunate to have the professional librarian services of Sharon Barnes on the team who’s job, although slow and tedious, is to catalog each and every publication into the library computer data base. The program allows Sharon to go online, to various library catalogs, such as the Library of Congress and National Agricultural Library collections or those in other countries and download the bibliographic records. The pieces are then classified by using the Dewey Decimal System, assigning bar codes, as well as call numbers. Once the collection is in the system, publications may be searched by author, title, keywords, etc., from the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog). The library will also be able to catalog the extensive collection of collectibles, (non-publications) in our holdings.


We realize that only a very small percentage of the ARBA membership will ever have the opportunity to walk through the doors of the library and appreciate first hand the extensive collection of rabbit and cavy history contained in this single room. This library belongs to the entire membership of the ARBA. The Library Committee, as well as your ARBA officers and directors are exploring various avenues of how the membership can best appreciate and view some of this collection, through digitizing various works.