I mentioned briefly last week that I recently got the chance to visit the Daughters of the American Revolution Library. I am not a DAR member but I wanted to see what I could find in the library. It turns out that I found enough to become a member on a least one branch of my family that day.
The library sits about a block south of the White House and just west of the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. This Google map gives you an idea of where the DAR headquarters are in relation to the monuments and National Mall.
I chose to take the Metro in from Northern Virginia to avoid parking issues. The Federal Triangle Metro station lets you out on the other side of the ellipse. After going through a quick security check at the building entrance, I made my way to the library itself. I checked in with the reference librarian at the front desk and then attacked the numerous shelves of books.
I had done my homework before arriving by extensively searching the online library catalog. I highly suggest this because the library contains over 150,000 volumes. There are computers next to the reference desk if you need to use the catalog. The shelves in the main room are organized by state and county. There are also shelves with books about families listed alphabetically and some shelves with general history books.
There are copy machines located at the front of the room. Personal scanners and cameras are not allowed for copying books. You may take photos of the room in general though. I am sorry that I did not take time to get better photos. This shot was taken on the spur of the moment as I picked books out from some of the stacks upstairs. There is an absolutely stunning photo of the library at www.dar.org.
The Seimes Technology Center is located down the hall from the main library. One of the books I was looking for was located here. There are many computers set up in the room. Each one is numbered so if you print pages, the reference librarian will be able to get them to you. The book I was looking for had been digitized so I got to read it on the computer screen. I was impressed how fast the images loaded. There was no wait time for the images to load so you could move though a book quickly.
I cannot say enough about the reference librarians I met on my trip to the library. I believe that they rotated into the reference desk about every hour or hour and a half. I spoke with almost all of them. Every person was so knowledgable and friendly. In fact, the librarian who was assisting me in the Seimes Technology Center noticed a book mentioned in one of my page prints. She highly recommended that I return to the library and find it. It turned out to be my biggest find of the day! I will tell you all about my genealogy jackpot in another post.
If you have the chance to research your family history while in Washington, D.C. don’t forget to check out the DAR Library. It is an amazing resource!