About the SAR Library
SAR Genealogical Research Library
809 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Phone: (502) 589-1776Fax: 502-585-7674
You can find Driving Directions here
NSSAR Library Hours
Monday: 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Tuesday - Friday: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
3rd Saturday of each month: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
If the Library is open on a Saturday, it will be closed on the preceding Monday
Admission is $5/day for non-members
Free for SAR/DAR members and Friends of the Library
The Importance of Libraries in Communities
Recent data on Libraries from the Pew Center for the Internet in American Life indicate that:
- 90% of Americans aged 16 or older said that closing their local public library would have a “major” impact on their community
- 76% said that such a closing would affect them and their families including 29% who said it would have a major impact
- Majority of Americans aged 16 and over said that public libraries play an important role in their communities
- There have been significant increases in library use over the past 20 years
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.
Note: The SAR Library does not sell any of the books listed in its catalog, nor does it loan them out. The Library is a non-circulating, reference facility only. Researchers are welcome to visit. Those who cannot visit the facility may wish to review our Research Services or SAR Genealogy Assistants (see links on this website).
Other Historical and Genealogical Libraries