Visit the Library


The SAR Genealogical Research Library maintains a large Collection of genealogical, historical reference materials for research by SAR members and the general public.

When you visit, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Patrons may bring a tablet, unbound research notes, and one three-ring binder or one non-manila file folder. You may use paperclips and binder clips to contain loose papers.
  • Expandable files, manila envelopes, pocket folders, portfolios, and loose-leaf folders (with brads) are not permitted.
  • Library guests must use pencils only. No ink pens or highlighters are allowed in the Library.
  • Bags, purses, briefcases, etc., should be stored outside the library.  Lockers are available for your convenience.
  • Personal copiers, scanners, and cameras are not permitted.
  • Laptop computers are allowed in the Library, and wireless Internet connectivity is available. Electrical outlets are available for laptops.
  • The Library collection is non-circulating; therefore no books or other references may be taken from the Library.
  • Smoking, food, gum, and beverages are prohibited in the Library.
  • Please silence all cell phones and pagers while in the Library.
  • Young children must be kept with accompanying adult(s) at all times.
  • Visitors are allowed on Library floors only. Please avoid those areas designated for SAR staff only.
  • Restrooms are located on the first floor behind the lobby reception desk. Do not take Library books into restrooms.
  • As a precaution, the SAR Library staff reserves the right to inspect all materials leaving the Library.

SAR Genealogical Research Library website:

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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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.