Located at 600 South Central Avenue, Glendale, the Sons of the Revolution Library and Museum specializes in genealogical and early American history resources with emphasis on the Colonial and Revolutionary War period. It also has a fine collection of 18th and 19th century vital records, family histories, American military history and English genealogy.
For more than 110 years the SR Library and Museum has been operated and maintained as a service to the community by the Sons of the Revolution in the State of California, an IRC 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Use of the Library is free to anyone in keeping with the purpose of the Society "to encourage interest in the early history of the United States . . . to perpetuate the memory of the brave men who fought in the Revolutionary War, and to collect and preserve the manuscripts, records and documents relating to our past."
In December, 1972, the California Society entered into an agreement to purchase the land and a 4,300 sq ft building located at the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Chestnut Street in Glendale. Consisting of a high-ceilinged 3,700 open space with large windows and fireplace, plus 600 sq ft of additional space on two floors, it is ideal for use as the Society's library, museum and headquarters.
The Spanish-style building sits on a concrete slab with solid masonry walls and roof coping of red tile. Fully air-conditioned, it was built in 1929 for the Glendale Chamber of Commerce and was at one time occupied by the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Upon acquisition, the Society brought the building into strict compliance with current earthquake codes and renovated the space. The locaton is ideal because of its easy accessibility and location in a good neighborhood bustling in the midst of a regional shopping mall and expanding corporate center.
Sons of the Revolution Headquarters, Library and Museum
600 South Central Avenue, Glendale
1973 to present
The interior of the attractive building was handsomely appointed with modern lighting fixtures, new steel bookcases and colonial style furniture. Thirty Windsor chairs, new but of authentic colonial design, were purchased in New England, each paid for by a Society member who in return had his revolutionary war ancestor's name engraved onto a plate that was affixed to the chair. Air conditioning and heating was repaired and a copy machine purchased.
Members donated most of the Library and Museum's furnishings: Colonial flags, office furniture and equipment; a Coat of Arms of George Washington; desks; lamps; and sizeable donations for new books and book binding. Books in poor condition were rebound and groups of volunteers re-catalogued the entire collection of genealogies, histories and manuscripts.
The book and manuscript collections at the SR Library include over 25,000 titles. It is well known as one of the largest collections relating to the American Revolution and Colonial America in the western United States. Many of the titles are rare and not found elsewhere. Recently added to our unique collection is several hundred CD-Rom titles which provide access to more reference material than before. An ongoing fund, supplemented by gifts from the community, facilitates an aggressive books and acquisition program to maintain, broaden and update the collection. The Sons of the Revolution owns the building and collections outright.
The Library is solely for reference use; it is not a lending library. As such the entire collection is available for patron use at all times.
Generous work areas are available at large reference tables. The facility is equipped with a heating and air conditioning system to maintain comfortable temperatures year round.
Patrons have direct access to the collection. The Library's electronic catalog, available at computer workstations in the Library or on-line, makes discovery of research materials easier and locating them easier, too. Many researchers access the catalog from home via this web site to prepare for their visit to the Library.
Click the image above for more details on its features and use.
Book stacks on the second floor, as seen below, make available additional publications for patron use.
FEATURES STATIONARY AND ROTATING EXHIBITS
In addition to a fine collection of books, periodicals and manuscripts, many of which are rare out-of-print first editions, the Library is blessed with a magnificent collection of artifacts.
JOHN C. FREMONT
PAINTED FROM LIFE
This handsome portrait, painted from life, hung in the Fremont home until it was sold by the family after his widow's death.
Phased Expansion and Modernization
During 2002 the Library began the process of creating a computerized catalog of its holdings. Since late 2003 the catalog has been searchable on-line at this web site.
Over the past few years many wonderful improvements have taken place at the Library, making it even more significant as one of the largest genealogical libraries of its kind.
Among the significant accomplishments is the tripling of shelf space to make available more books, manuscripts and records for patron use. Thousands of new books have been added to the collection. See the page on Recent Acquisitions for our most recent additions.
The Society completed a quarter-million dollar modernization and collection organization project, bound many years of journals and periodicals of varying titles, expanded its book collection by several thousand titles, added shelving, computers, and more. We installed a new two-zone heating and air conditioning system to replace our 30-year old system, laid insulation in the attic and installed attic fans.
The SR Library is a member of OCLC, a worldwide library cooperative, through which more than 53,548 libraries in 96 countries and territories around the world have access to our catalog.
In September, 2006 the Society received the Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History, the most prestigious national award for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. See the AASLH Award page linked above for more information.
Our Library and Museum continues to grow in whole new ways and in new directions to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century, but our mission is the same as when the Library first opened more than one hundred ten years ago, in 1893: 1.) to perpetuate the memory of those who risked their lives and fortunes to form this great nation, and 2.) the collection, preservation and sharing with the public manuscripts, records and writings relating to American Independence and our nation’s heritage. It is our mission to ensure that succeeding generations know what it means to be an American.
Ventura Fwy (134) east to Central Avenue (Glendale), south two blocks past the Glendale Galleria.
600 South Central
Glendale, California 91204
FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY
Persons interested in providing volunteer services in support of the maintenance, operation or leadership of the Library are encouraged to become part of our support group.
Contributions and donations of books are encouraged. The Library
receives no financial support from the city, state or Federal government, and depends on
donor generosity to provide the means of continuing, improving and expanding service to
The Society, a §501(c)(3) non-profit, remains debt free
and relies on community support. Donations are tax deductible the fullest
extend of the law.