Librarian General Introduction

Written by: Cynthia Sweeney, Librarian General
August 29, 2019

In 1904, Myrtle Hargrave Walkinshaw (Shupe), my grandmother, joined the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a Junior member, a recent graduate of Bucknell, and about to get married. Though there was no chapter near her after her marriage, she was extremely proud of her membership and shared with this granddaughter her love of DAR and American history.  Fast forward to 1976 and the Bicentennial of the United States celebration. A friend decided that she wanted to join DAR; I decided that I should join, too. Because I was able to use a “short form,” I became a Junior member on October 15, 1976. Though my mother and sister eventually joined, neither of them caught the enthusiasm that my grandmother and I have experienced.

As marriage, teaching and children kept me busy, I did not become active until April 1983, when I attended my first (and was to be my only) Continental Congress. I met other Juniors, made friends -- and never missed Continental Congress or a State Conference since!

Being a Page was the perfect initiation into the world of DAR.  Because of the opportunities presented to me as a Page, I was able to meet many inspirational NSDAR leaders. They encouraged me and challenged me to be active on all levels: chapter, state and national. They also gave me a chance to learn and to grow. I realized that having caring mentors is a gift.

With two young children, N.S.C.A.R. became a part of our lives, too. Until 2002, National Convention for N.S.C.A.R and NSDAR Continental Congress were contiguous meetings. When I left for Congress, the boys packed their suitcases and came to DC at the end of the week for their meeting. What a whirlwind of activity for me between the two organizations!

I was also active in my community and was involved with my church, GFWC PA, Garden Club, P.E.O., Boy Scouts and Swimming Club. Of course, I joined several other lineage groups, too. Because of my husband, I worked in his office and learned about the business world. All these organizations provided many leadership opportunities for me, but DAR held my heart. I decided that I would submit my name to the nominating committee to be Pennsylvania State Vice Regent. With great good fortune and the support of my State, I became not only State Vice Regent, but also State Regent.

Serving as the Pennsylvania State Regent was a great honor, a true privilege and a tremendous joy. It’s said that “timing is everything.” Building on the foundation of previous administrations, the Pennsylvania members raised the participation level across the state; they were fantastic. Those three years saw great accomplishments in all areas.

One night during my State Regency, I received a call from a wonderful woman asking me to join her in a fantastic opportunity. Denise Doring VanBuren and the other Executive Officers are outstanding. I am challenged by the best to “Rise and Shine for America” and am honored to join with them. What an opportunity this is to engage in the experience of National Society on this level. To have the opportunity to serve as Librarian General, to work with the wonderful library staff and to encourage members from all over the world to engage in the library resources, is a priceless experience for a collector and consumer of books.

As we prepare for the Semiquincentennial of our country, DAR will “Rise and Shine for America.” All members share this opportunity to promote education, the study of American history and patriotism. Daughters compose the fabric of this great nation and are some of the strongest threads that make our country resilient and enduring. It is a privilege to serve as an executive officer at this time in history.


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