Daughters of the American Revolution

Project: Digitization of membership records

Primary media: Bound-book, loose sheet and microfiche

Volume: 1.2M images


The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and securing America’s future through better education for children. As one of the most inclusive genealogical societies in the country, DAR boasts 168,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the United States and internationally. Any woman 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background-who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership.

Over 800,000 applications for membership have been submitted to DAR since the organization was founded in 1890 – the majority of them handwritten. Age and years of handling have contributed to the decay of many of these unique documents. In 2000, the DAR embarked on an ambitious and vital plan to preserve these membership applications for future generations of members and researchers. Working closely with the Crowley service bureau, DAR researched the best approach to preservation and developed a plan to create a set of digital images and microfiche for each application.

In all, the complete collection of 1.2 million pages of application material, including applicants’ lineage, were preserved in both digital and microfiche formats.