Patrons may use the collection of over 2,550 books and periodicals to research family lineage. The library contains family histories, family records, out-of-state county histories, biographies, Missouri county records and histories, cemetery inscriptions, and miscellaneous items. Additions to the library usually consist of published books purchased by members or local chapters specifically for the state library collection, but some chapters create their own books by compiling Bible records, oral histories, military records, or other similar items. These local works are valuable, unique research sources.
The MSSDAR collection began in 1919 as a traveling library taken to MSSDAR chapters around the state. Each newly elected state librarian stored the carrying case of books at her home until it was requested. As the collection expanded, it became harder for librarians to transport the books. The 1931 MSSDAR state conference voted to place its library within the quarters of the State Historical Society of Missouri, where the books would be centrally located and have greater accessibility. Floyd C. Shoemaker, secretary of the SHS, believed that housing the tiny library was a good way to continue the cooperation between the SHS and the MSSDAR. The MSSDAR collection is located in the SHS Reference Library reading room where it is easily accessed by all visitors.
Patrons who wish to use the MSSDAR Library will find with it both a card file finding aid and a printed catalog of holdings. The card file lists items by State (other than Missouri), Family Names, and Missouri Counties. In recent years most MSSDAR librarians have compiled a bibliography of the library shelves before their terms expired. In 1991, Mrs. Vernon S. Fricke, then state librarian, created the finding aid entitled Catalog of Genealogical and Historical Books and Records, Missouri State Society Daughters of the American Revolution Library.
Materials in the MSSDAR collection may be photocopied without restriction.
Questions concerning the library should be addressed to:
Missouri State Society Daughters of the American Revolution
821 Main Street
or call (660) 882-5320.