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.

The Library is one of the nation's premier genealogical research centers and was recently (1998) ranked the third most important of national institutions based on the uniqueness of sources in a listing by publisher Heritage Quest. The Library's book collection numbers some 225,000 volumes, the cataloging records for which constitute this catalog. Approximately 4,000 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 approximately 15,000 volumes of Genealogical Records Committee Reports have entered the Library and constitute a unique source for family histories, cemetery record transcriptions, and Bible records.

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