Photos by Doug Ashley



DAR Historic Preservation


Americana Collection

History of the Americana Collection: One of the major projects undertaken by the NSDAR at the time of the commemoration of its fiftieth anniversary celebration in 1940-1941 was the creation of a collection of early American manuscripts and imprints. For the fifty-year period prior to this Golden jubilee celebration no formal collection of such material had existed at the National Society. Rather, early American manuscripts and imprints lay scattered among the holdings of the DAR Library and the DAR Museum. The nucleus of the collection formed in 1940 was material culled from the Society's own library and museum.

When the addition to the NSDAR Administration Building was planned later in the 1940s, provision was made for the construction of a special, climate-controlled American Room to house the Americana Collection permanently. With a proper home and an active collecting policy, the collection has flourished. After fifty years, over 4,000 accessions compose the collection.

Items in the Americana Collection: The Collection is comprised of manuscript and imprint materials, primarily (but not exclusively) pertaining to life in Colonial America, the Revolutionary War era, and the Early Republic. Currently, the Americana Collection is the sole collecting agent at the NSDAR for early American manuscripts and printed materials.

The DAR Museum

The DAR Museum features outstanding collections of decorative and fine arts made or used in America between 1700 and 1850. The thirty-three State Period Rooms and two galleries represent a particular historic period or region. They trace American lifestyles as they changed over 150 years. The rooms include a 17th century New England one-room house, an 18th century tavern and a 19th century kitchen. A late 19th century attic is filled with children's toys. Changing exhibits are presented in the museum gallery.

The Michigan Room: This room was established in 1909 and presents a colonial library of the Revolutionary Era. It is located in the northeast corner of the second floor of Memorial Hall. Some of the items on display in the room are:
  • Turkish Kurd Rug
  • Large leather book, entitled “Memorial Record of the Michigan Room, Washington, District of Columbia” which is shown during Continental Congress in a locked glass case on tripod legs.
  • 1830-1840 Empire Sofa with a Winterthur reproduction fabric of peach and blue stripes and down cushions.
  • Desk made in France by Joseph Stockel between 1775 and 1803 made of mahogany and enhanced by gilt brass mounts.


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Website last updated: 11-12-2017