The General Stud Book was the original breed registry of the United Kingdom for horses. It specifically was used to document the breeding of Thoroughbreds and related foundation bloodstock such as the Arabian horse.
In 1791, James Weatherby published Introduction to a General Stud Book, which was an attempt to collect pedigrees for the horses racing then and that had raced in the past. It was filled with errors and was not at all complete, but it was popular and led in 1793 to the first volume of the General Stud Book which had many more pedigrees and was more accurate. Volume one was revised many times, the most important being in 1803, 1808, 1827, 1859 and 1891. The General Stud Book has been owned by the Weatherby's ever since; the horse racing authority for the United Kingdom, the British Jockey Club, does not maintain the registry. This differs from the American Stud Book which is owned by the United States Jockey Club.