The DAR Library was founded in 1896 as a collection of genealogical and historical publications for the use of staff genealogists verifying application papers for the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Shortly after 1900 the growing collection was opened to the public and has remained so ever since. Non-members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Sons of the Revolution, or the Children of the American Revolution pay a small daily user fee to help maintain and to expand the Library's collections.
The Library is one of the nation's premier genealogical research centers and was recently ranked the third most important of national institutions based on the uniqueness of sources in a listing by publisher Heritage Quest. In late 1998 the Library's book collection numbered some 150,000 volumes, the cataloging records for which constitute this catalog. Approximately 5,000 new titles enter the Library in any given year.
Many thousands of volumes of genealogical compilations, record abstracts, and other materials are available only at the DAR Library. DAR members and the public have contributed these sources, building a collection of great research depth covering all periods of American history. The period of the American Revolution is naturally a major focal point, but the colonial era and the nineteenth century receive detailed coverage as well. Through the efforts of local DAR members and chapters nationwide almost 20,000 volumes of Genealogical Records Committee Reports have entered the Library and constitute a unique source for family histories, cemetery record transcriptions, and Bible records.
The Library is one of several departments at DAR National Headquarters in downtown Washington which contains genealogical research material. Researchers wishing to become more familiar with the large holdings of the Library and the other offices should consult the DAR's 1997 publication American Genealogical Research at the DAR, Washington, D.C. by Eric G. Grundset and Steven B. Rhodes. This is the first comprehensive guide to DAR collections designed to answer questions by both DAR members and general researchers.
The microform holdings of the Library's Seimes Technology Center, numbering some 53,000 items, provide a major supplement to printed materials in the Library proper. The focus of the Center's collection is on Revolutionary War records of the federal and state governments, census records, and major indexes of records from eastern states. The cataloging records for these materials also appear in this catalog.
In 1982, 1986, and 1992 the DAR Library published printed listings of its holdings entitled DAR Library Catalog (3 volumes). This on-line catalog supersedes this printed set and includes much additional information. The old printed set, however, is still valid because it represents a large portion of the Library's book holdings and because the DAR Library does not weed its collection. Since 1992, the Library has added another 30,000 titles which are not listed in the printed catalogs.
Note: The DAR Library does not loan or sell any of the books listed in its catalog, nor will the Library make photocopy reproductions of entire books. The Library is strictly a reference facility. All researchers are welcome to visit. There is a daily user fee of $6.00 to use the library resources. Members of the DAR, C.A.R. (Children of the American Revolution), SAR (Sons of the American Revolution), and SR (Sons of the Revolution) are exempt from paying the user fee with proof of valid membership. Persons who cannot visit the Library may wish to contact the DAR Library Research Service at the above address for assistance.
The DAR Library also offers a research service to members and non-members. Please consult the Search Service page for fees and procedures. These may change if necessary and without prior notice.
To view a 360 degree photo of the DAR Library, please visit the DAR Headquarters Virtual Tour.
|Monday - Friday||8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.|
|Saturday||9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.|
Closed all Federal Holidays, but open most Saturdays of Federal Holiday weekends. Check our calendar for details. Closed to the public the week of NSDAR's annual Continental Congress in late June or early July (dates vary annually). Closed the Friday after Thanksgiving and on extra days near Christmas and New Year's Day. Check our calendar for details annually.