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 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
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
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