Argus Archives Records 1937-2004 (bulk 1970-1990)

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Argus Archives
205.5 linear feet (375 boxes, 2 flat boxes, 5 half boxes, 1 legal box, 1 cassette box, 1 photo box)
Call number
MC 00338
Access to materials

Collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice. Because of the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access will require additional advanced notice. Copies of digital files will be provided for use in the SCRC Reading Room upon request.

The Argus Archives Records, 1914-2004 (bulk 1970-1990), contain brochures, catalogs, correspondence, legislation, magazines, memorabilia, monographs, news clippings, pamphlets, photographs, research reports, video, and other materials collected and preserved by Argus Archives in pursuit of its goal to be an information source in humane education and to stop unnecessary or particularly cruel forms of animal testing. With particular focus on collecting material relating to humane organizations in the State of New York, Argus Archives actively assembled information on all areas of interest to the humane movement. The collection expanded to include organizations in all of North America and parts of Europe and Asia. Biographical documents of Dallas Pratt and other material such as article reprints date back to 1914.

The Argus Archives was founded in New York City by Dallas Pratt in 1969. In addition to acting as a data bank to provide facts to other humane groups with which to influence community leaders and legislators, Argus Archives was also dedicated to the efforts of humane education, supporting change at the community level.

Biographical/historical note

Dallas Pratt founded the Argus Archives, a privately funded New York foundation, in 1969 to serve the needs of animals by collecting factual and comprehensive information about their mistreatment and conditions which affect their well being, with particular reference to the State of New York. Acting in its primary function as a data bank of information on all areas of interest to the humane movement, its goal was to provide facts to other humane groups with which to influence community leaders and legislators. To accomplish this, Argus Archives assembled information on all aspects of animal welfare and animal mistreatment, performed research, and provided reports and publications such as: Furs and Fashion-Traps and Trapping in 1971 and the revised edition; Traps and Trapping Furs and Fashion in 1977, Unwanted Pets and the Animal Shelter in 1973 as part of a report series. Argus Archives also published works authored by Dallas Pratt, including Painful Experiments on Animals, 1976 and Alternatives to Pain in Experiments on Animals, 1980, for which he won the 1981 Animal Welfare Institute's Schweitzer Medal. In addition, Argus Archives held semi-annual film presentations for the purpose of humane education to an invited audience of humane groups, educators, and the media, after which the guests were asked to write a brief critique of each film.

In a brief autobiography written in 1984, Dallas Pratt reflected about his three careers: twenty-six years practicing psychiatry, twenty-seven years collecting antiques for and helping to finance the American Museum in Britain , and sixteen years active in the prevention of cruelty to animals. This last he referred to as the biggest challenge of all, "this sixteen year effort to make, persuade, beg people to be more imaginative in their dealings with animals. Making information available in depth, writing and publishing books, and the use of films are ways where by my colleagues and I have tried to reach the public"(Box 1, Folder 2). After Dr. Pratt's death on May 20, 1994, at the age of seventy-nine, the Argus Archives became a division of Two Mauds, Inc., a foundation directed by Ron Scott.


The Argus Archives Records document the establishment of the archives and the business functions related to its mission as both a resource for other humane education organizations and in its capacity as a humane education organization. The material collected by the Argus Archives focuses on the daily treatment of animals and characterizes the efforts of humane organizations in North America and parts of Europe and Asia to stop abuse through humane education and legislation. Although the material does not present opposing viewpoints, not all organizations in the collection are humane groups. Material from film studios and auto manufacturers, for example, are also included. In addition, these records do not attempt to document the daily business functions of the organizations represented within the collection, but there are instances where corporate records are present. (Note: Series 3, the Betty B. Eilers Series was removed from this collection and incorporated with additional Betty B. Eilers materials in the Animal Rights Network Records).

The various formats include brochures, bumper stickers, buttons, catalogs, CD-ROMs, coloring-books, correspondence, invitations, legislation, monographs, news clippings, newsletters, pamphlets, programs, posters, petitions, photographs, published articles, regulations, reports, reprints, and a videocassette. Topics include, but are not limited to: vivisection, the use of animals in cinema and other human entertainment, fishing and hunting, environmental impacts on animal habitats, vegetarianism, and companion animals.


This collection consists of ten series:

  • 1. Organizational Files
  • 2. Animals' Agenda Files
  • 3. Betty B. Eilers Files (Moved to Animal Rights Network Records, MC 00351)
  • 4. Photographs
  • 5. News Clippings
  • 6. Theme Files
  • 7. Film Literature
  • 8. Humane Education Films
  • 9. Publications
  • 10. Related Items

Use of these materials

The nature of the NC State University Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NC State University Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Argus Archives Records, MC 00338, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Related material

Source of acquisition

Purchased for the NC State University Libraries by various anonymous donors, 2003 (Accession no. 2003-0004).


This collection was processed with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program.