Library Build

The need to establish a Library for the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution was recognized by the National Founders, who specified provisions in the Constitution for the acquisition and preservation of Revolutionary War records, documents, and relics. The Library's development depended upon the establishment of a Washington, DC, Headquarters building in 1927. The main reading room of our library serves many researchers.

From 1889 until 1926 the Society acquired 225 books, which were kept by the Secretary General or Registrar General. On March 1, 1926, the Society established a Washington, DC, Registrar General’s office at 609 Hill Building at 17th and I Streets N.W. This office contained the "permanent records of the Society membership and genealogical records and reference library." The 1927 Congress in Richmond, Virginia, approved plans to purchase the Sixteenth Street Headquarters Building. With that came the creation of the first Library Committee, and by 1933 the collection was up to 914 books. The collection continued to grow over the next few decades.

In 1978 the SAR purchased the current Headquarters building in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the next year the second floor of the building was redesigned to accommodate a fully functional Library. It officially opened its doors to the public on January 17, 1979, and included a professional staff. In 1988 a 544-square-foot book vault was added to the floor space of the Library, and the collection had grown to approximately 25,000 items. During this time the microfiche and microfilm holdings also grew.

The library at SAR Headquarters in Louisville had outgrown its space by the early years of the 21st Century, and in October 2010 moved into a renovated building on West Main Street in Louisville’s historic Museum District.

To date the library collection has grown to 58,000 items and includes family histories, state genealogy materials, federal censuses, Revolutionary War pension applications, and CD collections. The primary focal point of the collections is the Revolutionary War period, but the collection does include other materials of a genealogical nature. The online catalog allows you to see what is available.

SAR Genealogical Research Library: http://library.sar.org/

Happy Anniversary!

The SAR commemorates the 225th Anniversary, of our First President. 

Washington Pin The first inauguration of George Washington as the first president of the United States took place on April 30, 1789.

The inauguration marked the commencement of the first four-year term of George Washington as president. Sworn in by Chancellor of New York Robert Livingston during this first presidential inauguration, Washington became the first president of the United States following the ratification of the Constitution.

The first presidential term started on March 4, 1789. Following the ratification of the Constitution by the required nine states, that date had been set by the Congress of the Confederation for the beginning of the operations of the new government under the Constitution of the United States. On that date, the House of Representatives and the Senate assembled, but both convened without a quorum. The House of Representatives first achieved a quorum on April 1, when it elected its officers. The Senate first achieved a quorum and elected its officers on April 6. Also on April 6 the House and Senate met in joint session, and the electoral votes were counted. Washington and Adams were respectively declared elected president and vice president, and the results of the count were subsequently published in the journals of Congress.

On April 30, 1789, the inaugural ceremony took place on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City, then the first US Capitol and the first site where the 1st United States Congress met.

Since nearly first light a crowd of people had begun to gather around Washington's home, and at noon they made their way to Federal Hall by way of Queen Street and Great Dock (both now Pearl Street) and Broad Street. Washington dressed in an American-made dark brown suit with white silk stockings and silver shoe buckles; he also wore a steel-hilted sword.

Upon his arrival at Federal Hall, Washington was formally introduced to the House and Senate in the then Senate chamber, after which already sworn-in Vice President John Adams announced it time for the inauguration. Washington moved to the second-floor balcony where he took the presidential oath of office, administered by Chancellor of New York Robert Livingston in view of throngs of people gathered on the streets. The Bible used in the ceremony was from St. John's Masonic Lodge No.1, and due to haste, it was opened at random to Genesis 49:13. Livingston shouted "Long live George Washington, President of the United States!" to the crowd, which was replied to with cheers and a 13 gun salute. The first inaugural address was subsequently delivered by Washington in the Senate chamber running 1419 words in length.

At this time there were no inaugural balls for the day of the ceremony, though a week later on May 7 a ball was held in New York to honor the first president.

What can you do?

Book donations, family histories, planned giving, monetary donations, website sponsorships, you name it!

Learn about contribution opportunities.

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Membership

The SAR is a "lineage" society. This means that each member has traced their family tree back to a point of having an ancestor who supported the cause of American Independence during the years 1774-1783.