Libraries Round the World: The DAR

The Daughters of the American Revolution has an impressive library and museum with 31-period rooms painstakingly designed to illustrate historical American interiors in Washington, D.C.

This place is the perfect spot to celebrate the annual Women’s History Month held in March. But why wait? Located a short walk from the White House and free, it’s well worth a visit.

The DAR’s library has over 140,000 books, 250,000 research files, and thousands of manuscripts. Many family history books were donated and may be one of a kind. If I lived nearby, I’d visit often.

If you’ve been bitten by the green-eyed genealogy bug, you will want to spend all day sniffing around. The DAR truly holds the mother lode for genealogists. Even if you are bite-free or allergic, there’s a comprehensive collection of books from every state – not just the original thirteen. History somehow comes alive and becomes more meaningful when you can tie it to where you’ve been or your roots.

Some Rooms Perfect for Time-Traveling:

Computers are available for research into the DAR catalog, applications, and files. DAR applications are now digital but not available online outside their office to protect member confidentiality. If you find a Patriot ancestor, you can piggyback off an existing application but must still prove how you connect. The requirements to verify ancestry are strict, and some prior approvals have exceptions highlighted.

I haven’t tried to join yet, but I have a couple of DAR-recognized fifth great grandfathers to investigate. The DAR also recognizes female patriots, not just soldiers, if they supported the patriot cause.

Some state shields:

And for those lucky to live nearby, the cherry blossoms are in peak bloom in early April 2018. Meandering Side Note: Consider having lunch in the Department of Interior’s cafeteria across from the DRA’s Constitution Hall. Their plastic drink cups are eco-friendly and made from corn. You must pass through security checkpoints, but they have a museum and gift shop with Native American crafts. This 1935 building when completed was considered ultra-modern with escalators and central AC. Summers in D.C. without it would test anyone’s patriotic duty.

The novelist/genealogist/adventurer with a globe. Where is she headed next?


Karen Stensgaard is the author of the novel AQUAVIT, the first book in the Aquamarine Sea Series with a second novel underway. AQUAVIT is available as a paperback from Amazon and Ingram Spark or as an e-book from almost everyone else. Libraries have free access via Overdrive.  Link to free chapters on Amazon


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