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New Arabian horse library officially opened

November 19, 2011

A new library housing the world's largest collection related to Arabian horses has officially opened on the California campus of Cal Poly Pomona.

The cutting of the ribbon is mark the library's opening.
© Tom Zasadzinski
The new facility houses the collection of philanthropist W.K. Kellogg, who gifted the land for the university.

He had a vision to build a center for higher education that would include his beloved Arabian horses. Cal Poly Pomona, which has 20,000 students, is the product of that vision and continues to build upon Kellogg's legacy.

The university recently unveiled a new facility for the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library, which is dedicated to collecting and preserving materials about the breed, as well as Kellogg's original Arabian horse ranch.

The library houses the world's largest collection related to Arabian horses.

At the facility's ribbon-cutting celebration this month, Jim McHale, chief of staff of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, shared stories of Kellogg's love for horses.

He pointed out that the library combines the two things Kellogg was most passionate about: horses and education.

"Kellogg's vision was to have more than just a horse ranch; he wanted to offer an education," McHale said.

Browsers check out the newly opened arabian collection at the University Library at Cal Poly Pomona. © Tom Zasadzinski
"What you have made and continue to make possible for young people to prepare for productive lives is what really would make Mr Kellogg the happiest."

University President Michael Ortiz said the library is a testament to the groundwork that Kellogg built, as well as the unique relationship between Cal Poly Pomona and the Kellogg Foundation.

In 1949, W.K. Kellogg deeded 813 acres of land, which included horse stables, the family home and other buildings, to California for education.

More than 50 years later, the foundation provided a $US2 million grant for the new library facility.

"The Arabian Horse Library carries on the legacy of W.K. Kellogg, probably more than even the Arabian Horse Center does," Ortiz said.

"I really believe that the library itself expands that and gives people much more of an idea exactly the impact Mr Kellogg had on the Arabian horse world."

The library includes papers from the original W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Ranch, periodicals, and foreign and domestic stud books.

Other materials include correspondence, newspaper clippings, blueprints and photographs of the original ranch.

Books that date back to the 1700s cover breed history, training and bloodlines of the horses.

However, don't expect Katherine Staab, Arabian horse subject specialist, to pick a favourite.

Katherine Staab, Arabian horse subject specialist at the University Library at Cal Poly Pomona.
"I think every item we have is spectacular," Staab says. "I am excited every day to come to work, and I get to handle things that were written last week as well as things that were created hundreds of years ago."

Library Dean Ray Wang said researchers interested in Arabian horses and the history of the area can access a "gold mine" of material that does not exist anywhere else in the world.

"Special collections are very, very important to the university and the library because they reflect the identity of our university and of our great collection."

The Arabian horse library is located on the first floor of the University Library, next to Starbucks. It will be open to the public in January.



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