The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America is an American organization composed of women who are descended from an ancestor “who came to reside in an American Colony before 1750, and whose services were rendered during the Colonial Period.” The 45 corporate societies, with over 15,000 members, has a national headquarters of the society is at Washington, D.C., at Dumbarton House, a federal period house museum, in Georgetown.
== History ==
The organization was founded in 1891, shortly after the founding of a similar society, the Colonial Dames of America. The main difference between the two is that the CDA was created to have a centrally organized structure under the control of the parent Society in New York.
The NSCDA was intended as a federation of State Societies in which each unit had a degree of autonomy. Another society formed around the same time was the Daughters of the American Revolution. Organized following the United States Centennial of 1876 and a Centennial in New York in 1889 (celebrating the Constitution), they built on renewed interest in America’s past to work for preservation of historic collections and buildings, and education related to United States history. The NSCDA has been a leader in the field of historic preservation, restoration and the interpretation of historic sites since its New York Society first undertook the preservation of the Van Cortlandt House in 1897.
In November 2000, the NSCDA received the prestigious Trustee Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of historic sites from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Today 41 diverse properties are owned outright by the Corporate Societies of the NSCDA, 13 additional museum collections are owned by the Dames and 30 more properties receive substantial volunteer and financial support from Dames.
The NSCDA has a regular periodical, the Dames Dispatch.
== Museums ==
45 Corporate Societies with over 15,000 members. The Society headquarters is located at Dumbarton House (pictured below), in Washington, D.C.
In addition to its broad based activities in the museum field, the Society sponsors a number of scholarship programs and other historic preservation, patriotic service and educational projects to further the aims and objects of the Society. Historic house museums owned or operated by the NSCDA, include:
A more complete listing, with links to many of the state societies and their historic properties, is included on the official website.