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Arabian Horse Archives, Inc.




The Arabian Horse Archives, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization founded to ensure that historical materials relating to the Arabian horse, the oldest and most influential breed in human history, are preserved for future generations. Its mission is to identify, preserve, and protect archival materials relating to the history of the Arabian breed, with special emphasis on endangered collections. The Arabian Horse Archives shall strive to build an accessible digital online library cataloging all such materials, and facilitate their preservation by partnering with various institutions and museums with demonstrated capabilities to maintain important historical materials and artifacts.

The history of the breed is disappearing rapidly around the world, especially in its homelands in the Middle East, and the people who have been the scholars and researchers of the breed history are many of them aged, and their materials are not digitized. Most collections are not organized, let alone catalogued. Some of these scholars have been working with the Archives, but have died before their materials have been archived digitally, and we are left to try to work with those who have inherited their estates, most of whom do not have an interest in the material (unless it is worth something financially) and who do not know what they have or what to do with it.

Loss of Information

Just one example of the importance of digitizing old collections is as follows: One of our Board Members, Joe Ferriss, had a grandfather (Sidney E. Ferriss) who was a successful breeder of Percheron draft horses, Cheviot sheep, and Irish Terriers. He was also very scholarly on Thoroughbred and Arabian horses. He was a member of the Arabian Registry in 1918. After he died, no one in the family was interested in horses. He had a large collection of books, many rare, on Thoroughbred horses, Arabian horses, and livestock breeding. He also had massive amounts of correspondence on these subjects as well as photos. However, all that paperwork was discarded and many of the books as well. Seven years after his death, Joe Ferriss became interested in Arabian horses and only then did he learn about his grandfather’s collection. His grandmother eventually gave him the remnants of his grandfather’s collection, but by then the greater part of the accumulated knowledge had long been discarded, lost to future enthusiasts.

Importance of Breed History

History preserved is the basis for future existence of the Arabian breed.

  1. In the Middle East: Because the Arabian horse is so tightly bound to the Bedouin culture, along with the camel, the falcon and the saluki, it is also vitally important to those from the cradle countries of the Arabian horse who are seeking to preserve their own past. This cultural heritage is also important to the younger generations as they take a more active role in their own countries and governments.
  2. Within North America: The accelerating pace of technology is causing a loss of history here, as well, a history of significance to many, as horses had a great role to play in literature, geography and culture.


Our Board of Directors has been working individually toward maintaining their own collections, and collectively have nearly 300 years of scholarly activity with the Arabian breed., averaging nearly 50 years per Director). They each have large contact lists of people involved with Arabian Horse history, with different specialties in that subject.
  • President

    Michael Bowling

    Michael has owned Arabian horses since 1963 and began breeding them in 1970. He completed the degree of Master of Science in Animal Genetics at Texas A&M University in 1972. He had professional experience at the Frederick Cancer Research Center, the Genetics Department of the University of California at Davis, and the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, also at UC Davis, where he was co-author with Ann T Bowling and Angel del Valle on two mitochondrial DNA papers relating to Arabian horse dam lines.

    He was staff writer at Arabian Horse World magazine from 1975-1980, with a monthly genetics column plus travel and historical features including the American Arabian Centennial in 1979. He published and edited The CMK Record newsletter from 1980-1992, edited the four CMK Heritage Catalogues, and was on the committee for the 1983 World Symposium on Crabbet Breeding. In 1995 he and Rick Synowski shared the Rodania Award from the Double R Consortium in recognition of these publishing efforts and their other work on behalf of Arabian horse genetic conservation. He has also received or shared awards from Al Khamsa Inc. and the Eastern Crabbet Arabian Horse Society.

    He has spoken on genetics and breed history at CMK and Al Khamsa events, at the World Arabian Horse Organization and the Crabbet Conventions, and his writings on those subjects have been published internationally.

    He is treasurer and past president of the California-Nevada Arabian Sport Horse Association, has been since 2010 the president of the Davenport Arabian Horse Conservancy, and is president of the Arabian Horse Archives. He remains at Davis, California, where he consults at VGL on continuing mtDNA and disease gene projects, works in breed history research and maintains the New Albion Stud, founded with his late wife Ann and her parents Bill and Claire Trommershausen. The project is conservation breeding of straight Davenport and other Old California CMK Arabians.

  • Secretary and Head Librarian

    Jeanne Craver

    Together with her late husband Charles, Jeanne developed a specialty breeding program within the Arabian breed, and in connection with that, set up a library of over 400 books and 50 feet of files, helped start three non-profit organizations centered around the history of the breed (Al Khamsa, Inc., the Davenport Arabian Horse Conservancy, Inc., and the Arabian Horse Archives, Inc.), published books and articles.

    In 1999, she and Charles were honored with the first Arabian Breeders Association Lifetime Breeders Award, and has received awards for her work with Al Khamsa, Inc. Currently she is editor of Khamsat (the Al Khamsa), and is secretary of both the Conservancy and the Archives. She is the primary digitizer and metadata writer for the Archives, and manages the websites and files.

  • Treasurer

    Robert J. Cadranell

    Robert grew up with his family’s Arabian horses in the 1970s and has owned purebred Arabians himself since 1980. He began researching Arabian horse history in the late 1970s and over the years articles he authored or co-authored have appeared in Arabian Horse World, the Arabian Horse Express, The Khamsat, The CMK Record, The Crabbet Influence, and Arabian Visions.

    In addition to the Archive, he has served on the boards of Al Khamsa, Inc., the Davenport Arabian Horse Conservancy, and as a Trustee of the Arabian Horse Owners Foundation. He has received awards from Al Khamsa, Inc.; the Arabian Horse Historians Association; and the Eastern Crabbet Arabian Horse Society.

    From 1991 until 2000 he was editor and publisher of Arabian Visions magazine, a print periodical publication about Arabian horses with subscribers in all 50 states and several foreign countries.

  • Director

    Howard Shenk

    Howard joined Al Marah Arabians in 1985 after experience with livestock events and shows and retired as Executive Director of the Arabian Horse Owner Foundation (AHOF) with its closing. He was in charge of the W.R. Brown Memorial Library and produced special events for the Arabian Horse Community including Think Tanks, Horse Management seminars, International North American FEI Endurance Championship and Arabian Horse National Endurance Championships. He has served on the National Boards of Arabian Horse Association, NARHA (now PATH), and local and Regional Boards of Arabian horse community. In his local community he has been President of Therapeutic Riding of Tucson (TROT), and President of the Tucson Children’s Museum. He was a force behind the movement that became the Arabian Horse Archives, and served as a founder.
  • Director

    Carolyn Hasbrook

    Carolyn, with her husband, Richard and their sons, Michael and Daniel, have been breeding Arabian horses since 1964. Their farm, Twin Brook Arabians have developed their own line and look and are well known for this. They both have a passion for the history of the breed and bloodlines and spend a lot of time on research having a large collection of books, old sale and show catalogs, pictures and paintings. Carolyn had video taped many of the early horse events plus still pictures. National magazines have at some point used some of her work. Richard has, in the past, written articles that also appear in magazines.

    Over 50-plus years, they have also been extremely active in Arabian clubs in Iowa, Richard serving as president or treasurer in the Iowa Arabian Horse Association and later as founding members of the Arabian Horse Society of Iowa and both serving as president and treasurer multiple times over the years. Carolyn has been active in several national Arabian organizations as well as serving on committees for national educational events. Both have been delegates to the AHA conventions over the years — Richard served as the Region11 Director years ago. Carolyn has served on the Iowa Horse Council board since 1984, served on the Iowa Horse Fair committee from its beginnings in 1986, and chaired the Iowa Horse Fair for twelve years.

    Carolyn had been an active member of the Arabian Horse Owners Foundation and served as Vice President in its last years. She has been on the board of the Eastern Crabbet Arabian Horse Society for several years, serves on several committees and in 2007 they received the “Life Time Achievement” award. They were also honored with a “Heritage Breeders” article in the Arabian Horse World magazine and a feature article in the Crabbet Heritage magazine printed in Great Britain. With preserving the Arabian history being important to Carolyn, she and the Arabian horse historian, Nyla Eshelman, helped Lonny Hitchen with pictures etc. in his endeavor to produce historical Arabian horse DVDs, some of which he has put on YouTube. Carolyn considers this one of the more important contributions she has made to the Arabian horse — that and some of the special foals they have raised. Now she is on the board of the Arabian Horse Achives, Inc. and hopes the work here will be even more important.

  • Director

    Joe Ferriss

    Involved in Arabian breeding only on a small scale, Joe later turned his attention to expanding his grandfather’s remaining library on horses and collecting significant amounts of information on Arabians including visiting many farms and filming horses before the existence of video. He began publishing articles in 1980 in various publications and later lecturing on various Arabian horse related subjects, which continues to the present. For 15 years, he was editor/designer of the Khamsat magazine produced for Al Khamsa, Inc. From 1990 to 2019, he designed and produced 27 books for other authors on the subject of Arabians and related material, and currently has his own book in production. He has also written internationally for publications in Italy, Australia, and the Arabian Gulf. Joe also travelled in the Middle East in the period from 1996 to 2012. He continues his interest in the Arabian breed mainly by focusing on preserving research in various collections via the Arabian Horse Archives, Inc.


The Arabian Horse Archives, Inc., began with a planning group in 2012. The group established a vision for the organization, a mission statement, and set up a working group to start a trial website showing how the material might be presented to the public. Beginning with funds donated by the Arabian Horse Owners Foundation (AHOF, now disbanded), Al Khamsa, Inc. (Al Khamsa is another 501(c)(3)), Illinois Al Khamsa, and ARAB INC, all organizations with an interest in the history of the Arabian Horse, the website was completed.

In June of 2017, the Arabian Horse Archives, Inc. was incorporated in the state of Arizona, bylaws were approved, and the IRS approval letter was received, effective back to June 1, 2015. A founding Board and a financial officer was chosen in August of 2017. Board meetings have been held, primarily on a monthly conference call schedule, but also via email.

The trial website was removed, and a new, independent and more robust website set up as The process of digitization and website presentation began, and people began donating materials to the the Arabian Horse Archives, Inc. Advice from the International Museum of the Horse and the International Library of the Horse, both museums at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY has been of great importance to the the Arabian Horse Archives, Inc. See attached letters of support.

Corporate Standards: Library of Congress digitization standards were approved for proceeding with Archive digitization. A Deed of Gift form was created, to guarantee that donors could maintain control over their material, and to allow them to keep some donated material private for a fixed period of time. Copyrights are observed, and material not in the public domain is approved for publication on the website only with permission of the copyright holder.

Environmental Impact: The goal of the Archives is: digitize and make available as much of the global history of the Arabian Horse as possible, and to do it with the smallest environmental footprint possible.

Outside of one planning session in 2012, and one planning session done during a meeting of another organization, all meetings of the Board have been done by email or by telephone conference call.

There may come a time when physical space may be required for some items, and in this case, the plans are to work with an existing institution, rather than to create a new facility from scratch.

The the Arabian Horse Archives, Inc. will follow the following steps in advancing our mission to identify, preserve, and protect archival materials relating to the history of the Arabian breed, and shall strive to build an accessible database listing all such materials, and facilitate their preservation.

Online Google files have been created to keep track of people and collections of interest:

Per Person: Contact information per individual, as well as brief summary of what is in their collection and its structure, or their specialty that might be useful to the the Arabian Horse Archives, Inc.

Per Collection: List of collections being tracked, ranked by scarcity — vulnerability — type (book, document, photographs, art, artifact, film) — organization level — collector cooperation.


At this time, the the Arabian Horse Archives, Inc. is small and new enough that everyone on the Board must wear several hats. The Board makes final triage decisions:

  1. Choose which collections to prioritize.
  2. Does the collector need help with organization or cataloging? Is there help nearby that can be hired, or does someone need to be sent to help?
  3. Provide oversight to be sure organization and cataloging are done properly.
  4. Locate digitization facility (in house or commercially available). Digital standards chosen are those of the Library of Congress. Metadata standards have been written to fit our particular needs.


To prepare for digitization, a collection must first be organized for cataloging. Then cataloging must be done so that each item is entered into the Archives database with individual identification number and item information.

Following preparation for digitization, items move as follows: Digitize / write metadata / enter full size digital file in AWS-S3 storage by URL and backed up on stand-alone hard drives / enter metadata and web image file in MySQL database / link to public website, with permission / add image/link to social media accounts. Physical location and care of items is left to the owner if at all possible. If the Archives receives ownership of items, it shall either sell duplicate items or place items with an appropriate cooperating institution.

Immediately, we are grant-dependent. Once the basic infrastructure is set up, collections can be managed by asking for specific donations for that specific group of items. We will need to work towards an endowment so that income from it can be used to cover ongoing expenses.

When possible, we will need to recruit and train volunteers to help evaluate collections in the field. We will need to train digitizers and metadata writers. We will have to have contracts with IT services and/or personnel to handle maintenance of the large databases and the public website and advise on refreshment procedures. We will need to help fund archival activity at cooperating institutions to help them help us.

This grant proposal is requested to, over the next two years, fund the following efforts, which will proceed concurrently:

  1. Choose which collections to prioritize.
  2. Back end infrastructure: A database that will have the capacity to track all items and all persons, and hold digital full-sized backups of all items. Dr. Randal Abler, Georgia Tech, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, retired.
  3. Front end website: Expansion of the existing public website to create more functionality. Jillison Parks, San Sheriff Studio.
  4. Processing of two or three large collections. Jeanne Craver, Head Librarian, Arabian Horse Archives. have been written to fit our particular needs.


  • TASK 1

    AWS S3 — allow 3 months
    Set up the Archives storage on Amazon Web Services S3 (AWS S3) program. That is a corporate backup service that can handle large amounts of storage for a small amount of money. We can request URL access to each digital item that we store there: each photo, each article, each item will have its own URL, or internet address, so we can use this storage to handle the files that would clog up our public website, and eventually cost us a lot of money in storage fees. $500.
  • TASK 2

    Architectural specifications conference — allow 3 months

    Dr. Randy Abler, Jillison Parks and Jeanne Craver using video conferencing will plan the interface between the (1) bulk storage on Amazon, (2) the database that will store all of the information (the metadata) about each item in our database, (3) the public website that allows for everyone to see what we have, and to search through everything we have, and (4) the person who stores the material on AWS S3, enters the metadata on the our database, and sets up the viewable files on the public website. Data refreshment cycles must be defined. $700.

    NOTE: Everything after the planning session (task 2) is estimated as far as time and money is concerned. The the Arabian Horse Archives, Inc. will be proceeding with Tasks 1 and 2 as money permits.

  • TASK 3

    Back end, preliminary or initial function — allow 12 months

    Dr. Randal Abler, 200 hours of programming at $75/hour, or $15,000. The back end is a MySQL database, a catalog of all information for all archival material.

    The back end has two major functions:

    • Task 3a: Interface the MySQL database to the public website. (Filemaker’s database function is used currently; this information will be ported over when the rough interface to the database is ready.)
    • Task 3b: Interface the MySQL database to the Archive proper (the files on Amazon). This will be a rough web interface only for me to use in the beginning.
  • TASK 4

    Robust build out of back end — allow 12 months

    Dr. Randal Abler, 200 hours of programming at $75/hour, or $15,000. The interface to the archive proper will be finished so that other librarians around the world can use it to enter metadata.


allow 12 months

Our existing public website ( needs to be considerably more robust and secure. Must be handicapped accessible to meet federal standards. Must be more social media friendly. We will need added functions, such as a better Store area for sales of items we receive and don’t want to keep. We want to enable recurring donations, which means keeping track of payment options for people, requiring added security. A landing page with a digital gallery is not necessary but would be more eye-catching for persons arriving from social media. A more robust Search function will be needed. Of course, ongoing maintenance and updating of architecture will be needed. Working these details out is part of the Architectural Specification Conference, above. Allow $30,000. San Sheriff Studio (Jillison Parks)


allow 2 years

Allow three months of the Librarian’s time at $60,000 year, one-quarter time equalling $15,000. The Archive funds the rest of the salary, as required. We will choose several major collections as part of the funding from this grant. This includes organization, cataloging, arranging for or doing digitization, filing original scans on AWS servers, writing metadata and entering it into our MySQL database, setting up internet quality images and posting on our public website.

Hardware: allow $5000

  1. Film scanner
  2. Stand alone hard drives for back up storage
  3. Book scanner

Proposed Collections of various sizes

  1. The Sandra Rolland collection of photographs, books and documents, in the possession of her sons, Missouri.
  2. The Lois (Selby) Perry Lane collection of documents and photographs, in her possession, California.
  3. The Alice L. Payne collection of papers, photographs and negatives, movie films, and farm manager’s records purchased from her sons, Robert Payne and Pat Payne, by Joyce Gregorian Hampshire, and given after her death by John Hampshire to Robert J Cadranell, Washington (not including books, her correspondence from Carl Raswan, and still photos taken at Craver Farms, Hillview, Illinois).
  4. The Carolyn (Kiki) Case collection of books, magazines, photos and papers now with Kiki’s niece, Susan (Haenert) Ertmer, Illinois.
  5. The Polly Knoll collection of photographs (major) and papers, now with her family.
  6. The Christine Massey collection of photographs (major) and papers, now with Patricia Wren, California.
  7. The Mary Jane Parkinson collection of books, magazines, photographs and documents, in her possession, California.
  8. The Jeannette Morrill (Bear Claw Ranch) collection, given by her granddaughter Ginger Detterman to Penny Wardlaw, California.
  9. The Walter Schimanski collection of books, letters and films, given by him to Don Austin, Arkansas.
  10. The Edna Weeks collection of books, magazines, documents and photographs, in her possession, Florida.


We are, of course, as stated above, tracking many collections, both major and minor.