NSDAR's Department of Archives and History Commemorates the World War I Centennial with a New Exhibit

Written by: Tracy Robinson, DAR Director of Archives and History
June 23, 2017

We are pleased to announce that the Americana Room’s new exhibit, Women of Resilience: DAR Service in World War I, opened on Monday, June 19, 2017.

One hundred years ago, the United States of America entered World War I. Although President Woodrow Wilson’s administration maintained a neutral stance during the early years of the conflict, Germany’s increased aggression toward the U.S. resulted in America declaring war on April 6, 1917.

Entry into the Great War elicited an extraordinary response from women across the country. Members of the DAR were no exception. Resilient women rose to the challenge, dedicating themselves to war relief activities that stretched from their living rooms to the battlefields of France, rendering service to their country worthy of their patriot ancestors. The DAR’s 26th Continental Congress commenced only ten days after war was declared. Sarah Mitchell Guernsey was sworn in as President General. A natural born leader, Mrs. Guernsey formed the War Relief Service Committee during her first week in office.

The exhibit honors the DAR members who selflessly and tirelessly dedicated themselves to the war relief effort. Their hard work and patriotic spirit contributed much to America’s victory. The accomplishments of selected DAR hidden heroes are highlighted. Featured are photographs, letters, bulletins, and scrapbooks from the NSDAR Archives, as well as generous loans from the DAR Museum.

We hope everyone attending Continental Congress next week will make time to visit the Americana Room and see this fascinating exhibit. If you do not plan to attend Congress, please take a look at the online version of the exhibit at http://www.dar.org/WomenofResilience. 

Women of Resilience: DAR Service in World War I will remain on display until spring 2019. We invite all guests to DAR headquarters to visit the Americana Room on the second floor of the Administration Building.  Our regular business hours are 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday.  DAR chapters and other groups interested in a tour of the Americana Room should contact the Department of Archives and History to make arrangements. Call: (202) 879-3256 or email: historian@dar.org.

Although walk-in visitors are welcome in the Americana Room at any time, access to any part of the collection for research purposes requires an appointment in advance. The Americana Collection is intended for research use both by DAR members and staff and the general public including students. 

Our ability to maintain our cataloguing software, purchase archival-quality supplies, appraise the Americana Collection, acquire new items for the collections, and provide the documents with adequate care—for storage, conservation, research use, and exhibits—is made possible by the generosity our members have shown through financial contributions to the Americana Room Fund, Friends of the Americana Collection, and the NSDAR Archives Fund.  We are grateful for your support. 

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