The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America Founded in 1891, the NSCDA is one of the oldest historic preservation organizations in America. We ca

I drove to work this morning on some of the same back streets of Northwest Washington, DC that I took to work the mornin...
09/11/2023

I drove to work this morning on some of the same back streets of Northwest Washington, DC that I took to work the morning of September 11, 2001. That day was sunny and beautiful. Today, it is overcast with a blue sky peeking out now and again.

On that day 22 years ago, the nation’s capital turned tense, quiet, and to one another. We were united as we watched television reports from New York and Shanksville and prayed for those we knew who worked at the Pentagon. Ministers were called to the pulpit to comfort the people of a shocked and grieving city. On September 11, 2001 and the days that followed, we did not see Democrats or Republicans; we saw only fellow Americans. Today, I hope the clouds over Washington, DC will yield to the bright blue sky of unity.

I am thankful to work at the NSCDA because I firmly believe the women of our country have an important role in reminding us of the ideas, principles, and opportunities we covet and enjoy as Americans. May the efforts of our Dames across the United States inspire others this next year as we naturalize citizens, teach American history, and welcome visitors to our Great American Treasures. Let’s make a difference before September 11, 2024!

-NSCDA Executive Director Carol Cadou

We're hiring! The NSCDA is seeking a full-time Assistant Director, Membership, to strengthen National Headquarters suppo...
04/08/2022

We're hiring! The NSCDA is seeking a full-time Assistant Director, Membership, to strengthen National Headquarters support for our members as we launch a new institutional strategic plan for this 128-year-old women’s lineage organization with a focus on membership engagement.

We are looking to fill this position as soon as possible and are accepting applications on a rolling basis. To learn more and to apply, visit: https://nscda.org/careers/

Join the NSCDA Team! Thank you for your interest in The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America! Here you will find current job openings at

This President's Day, as we celebrate George Washington's 290th birthday, we are also celebrating the 90th birthday of D...
02/21/2022

This President's Day, as we celebrate George Washington's 290th birthday, we are also celebrating the 90th birthday of Dumbarton House!

In 1927, the National Board of the NSCDA approved purchase of a historic property for use as its museum and national headquarters. The following year, the NSCDA purchased Belle Vue (as Dumbarton House historically was named). Finally, after the structure was restored to its early 1800s splendor, the public opening of Dumbarton House was purposely planned for the Bicentennial of Washington’s birthday in 1932.

As we reflect on the past ninety-years of Dumbarton House’s public service, we also look towards the future. This spring, to ensure that our historic site serves our 21st century mission to use the latest research and methods to thoroughly understand and accurately represent our American past, we’ll begin restoration of the Best Chamber. Additional renovation to our Visitor Center and second floor education offices is an infrastructure-based investment in our national relevance and our ability to serve schoolchildren coast-to-coast. For more information and to participate in virtual and in-person programming related to these projects be sure to follow Dumbarton House on social media and check out DumbartonHouse.org.

We're hiring! The NSCDA is seeking an Executive Assistant. The Assistant reports to the Executive Director and works in ...
01/11/2022

We're hiring! The NSCDA is seeking an Executive Assistant. The Assistant reports to the Executive Director and works in support of the Director, The NSCDA President, and Executive Committee. This position provides administrative support to the Executive Director, NSCDA President, Executive Committee, and serves as a liaison to the National Board and the Dumbarton House Board.

To learn more and to apply, visit:https://nscda.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Executive-Assistant.pdf

Today, on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 we honor those who lost their lives and are grateful for the first responders who...
09/11/2021

Today, on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 we honor those who lost their lives and are grateful for the first responders who answered the call of duty. We also remember the patriotism of our active duty service members and our veterans. May we never forget.

At the Women in Preservation Symposium this past April, we learned that the right to express yourself and be heard--on y...
05/18/2021

At the Women in Preservation Symposium this past April, we learned that the right to express yourself and be heard--on your terms--is sacred.

The first amendment (the freedom of speech) of the American Constitution uniquely extends to language as well. Our institutional support of language preservation, at places like the Smithsonian and by experts like Mary Linn, are important cornerstones of our field.

When asked to share advice with emerging preservation professionals at this year's Women in Preservation Symposium, Shan...
05/10/2021

When asked to share advice with emerging preservation professionals at this year's Women in Preservation Symposium, Shannon Brogdon-Grantham at Smithsonian delivered.

"Prepare to be a lifelong learner," she said. Your education doesn't end in grad school, preservation challenges you to find new solutions, seek out new teachers, or invent new techniques for every unique object that comes your way.

Preservation is not achieved by one person. Successful efforts are community-driven endeavors.With the support of social...
05/01/2021

Preservation is not achieved by one person. Successful efforts are community-driven endeavors.

With the support of social media, our communities can amplify a need or propel action.

At our April Women in Preservation Symposium, Marion F. Werkheiser, of Cultural Heritage Partners encouraged us all by noting "the more you get the public engaged the better the outcome."

We've all discovered just how hard it is to make a personal connection over a screen. With so many of our social outlets...
04/30/2021

We've all discovered just how hard it is to make a personal connection over a screen. With so many of our social outlets shut down during the pandemic many preservation professionals have turned to colleagues for the support and guidance more experienced mentors formerly gave.

But this advice is just as valuable. "Peer-to-peer mentoring is real," said Milan Jordan at our April Women in Preservation Symposium.

Check out the NSCDA's peer-to-peer museum network, our Great American Treasures.

In this challenging year, preservation professionals have been challenged to learn new skills to reach old audiences whi...
04/29/2021

In this challenging year, preservation professionals have been challenged to learn new skills to reach old audiences while navigating a historic pandemic. We can all attest that we've found it hard to reflect and recharge.

At our Women in Preservation Symposium in April, Sarah Marsom reminded us all how important it is for leaders of a movement to practice self-care.

What are you doing to radically support your needs?

This April Sarah Marsom, a featured presenter at the Women in Preservation Symposium and the Power in Preservation exhib...
04/29/2021

This April Sarah Marsom, a featured presenter at the Women in Preservation Symposium and the Power in Preservation exhibition at our national headquarters, @ [53546364029:274:Dumbarton House], shared that preservation advocates are best cultivated "through activity."

Join our movement on May 4th for her Tiny Activist Doll virtual workshop: https://dumbartonhouse.ticketleap.com/tiny-activist-doll-workshop-with-sarah-marsom/

Our very own President, Katherine Cammack kicked off this April's Women in Preservation Symposium. In her opening remark...
04/28/2021

Our very own President, Katherine Cammack kicked off this April's Women in Preservation Symposium.

In her opening remarks, Cammack shared the NSCDA's goal of empowering "this generation and the next, with the complicated and impactful wisdom of our past."

See the NSCDA's preservation in action at any of our 64 Great American Treasures sites this summer!

Lonnie G. Bunch, the Secretary of the Smithsonian sat down with his friend, former colleague, and Dame, Nell Payne this ...
04/27/2021

Lonnie G. Bunch, the Secretary of the Smithsonian sat down with his friend, former colleague, and Dame, Nell Payne this past April at the Women in Preservation Symposium.

When she asked Bunch how preservationists should interpret the past, he responded sagely: "inclusivity saves you from the monopoly of wisdom."

Lonnie G. Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian, shared his hard-earned wisdom on Day 1 of the Women in Preservation Sympo...
04/27/2021

Lonnie G. Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian, shared his hard-earned wisdom on Day 1 of the Women in Preservation Symposium. (A massive, joint endeavor between the and the Smithsonian Institution!)

He challenged the preservation professionals watching to lean into their strengths, that we all "master" our craft.

Diverging passions or opinions may not sway someone else's opinion. Sharing your differences might be just as effective ...
04/26/2021

Diverging passions or opinions may not sway someone else's opinion. Sharing your differences might be just as effective at showing the value of respecting your own, says Ember Farber, the American Alliance of Museums Advocacy Director.

At our April Women in Preservation Symposium Ember remarked that "you don't have to agree with people in order to be heard."

Ember Farber may be the American Alliance of Museums super-advocate. But at our April Women in Preservation Symposium, E...
04/25/2021

Ember Farber may be the American Alliance of Museums super-advocate. But at our April Women in Preservation Symposium, Ember emboldened us all.

She remarked that "your passion is your superpower."

On Day 1, Elizabeth Kostelny of Preservation Virginia reminded us all why we gathered at the Women in Preservation Sympo...
04/24/2021

On Day 1, Elizabeth Kostelny of Preservation Virginia reminded us all why we gathered at the Women in Preservation Symposium in early April.

She noted, "We all share that moment we all understood that historic places matter."

Thank YOU for making the Women in Preservation Symposium such a success! We're thrilled so many joined us from across th...
04/23/2021

Thank YOU for making the Women in Preservation Symposium such a success!

We're thrilled so many joined us from across the United States and the world. We are working hard to edit the recorded presentations into discrete videos with closed captioning. This laborious but important process will take several weeks.

Once completed, we'll post them to our YouTube page. Until then, we'll share some highlights from the event.

04/07/2021

We're thrilled so many have joined us for the Women in Preservation Symposium, here on Facebook Live!

Unfortunately, we will not be able to stream Janice Ellis's video about the Conservation of The Jefferson Bible. It will be available on the full recording that will be posted on the NSCDA YouTube page in several weeks.

Thanks for your understanding and patience.

Be sure to tune back in at 12:15 p.m. to listen to our final keynote and concluding talk with the President of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, Leslie Greene Bowman.

It's difficult to believe our 2021 Women in Preservation Symposium is almost over! We're honored to share our final day ...
04/07/2021

It's difficult to believe our 2021 Women in Preservation Symposium is almost over! We're honored to share our final day learning about the painstaking work that goes on in the archives at the Institution, the exacting labors of preserving the Jefferson Bible, and finally a lecture by the current president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello. We're so honored by your attendance, and hope you enjoy our final day of WIPS!

Catch us on Facebook live with closed captioning available!

Our second day at the 2021 Women in Preservation Symposium covers the historical gamut, from protecting cultural heritag...
04/06/2021

Our second day at the 2021 Women in Preservation Symposium covers the historical gamut, from protecting cultural heritage to learning about women’s preservation organizations from the past to present! You won't want to miss it, so join us on Facebook Live! Closed captioning available.

The wait is over! The Women in Preservation Symposium is starting in less than two hours. If you didn't register, it's n...
04/05/2021

The wait is over! The Women in Preservation Symposium is starting in less than two hours. If you didn't register, it's not too late to take part. Join us on Facebook Live this morning at 9:00 for the first session, "HerStory in Preservation."

We’re committed to making the Women in Preservation Symposium accessible to all! Closed captioning is available through Facebook Live.

Hey there! Have you signed up to attend the 2021 Women in Preservation Virtual Symposium? There's still time to claim yo...
04/04/2021

Hey there! Have you signed up to attend the 2021 Women in Preservation Virtual Symposium?

There's still time to claim your virtual seats for over twenty-five exciting presentations, ranging from a bundle of historians, preservationists, and other guardians of history. Registration is free and easy 👇
https://nscda.org/wips2021/

Join us for a presentation by Leslie Greene Bowman, president of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, the third president's be...
04/04/2021

Join us for a presentation by Leslie Greene Bowman, president of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, the third president's beautifully-restored estate in the mountains near Charlottesville, Virginia. Bowman has propelled the Thomas Jefferson Foundation’s path forward into national and global dialogue, propelling restoration, dialogue and programs that offer an honest, complicated and inclusive view of our past – common ground for all Americans.

We hope you'll join us for this grand finale to our three-day symposium!

Few American books have caused as big a stir in American philosophy as the Jefferson Bible, Thomas Jefferson's personall...
04/04/2021

Few American books have caused as big a stir in American philosophy as the Jefferson Bible, Thomas Jefferson's personally edited compilation of Scriptures.

We're joining Ms. Janice Ellis of the National Museum of American History, who led the restoration efforts of this text in 2009 that led to the documentary Jefferson's Secret Bible.

Did you know that a group of women helped to preserve Julia Child’s kitchen so that future gourmands could learn all abo...
04/04/2021

Did you know that a group of women helped to preserve Julia Child’s kitchen so that future gourmands could learn all about the famous female chef? Learn more in this flash talk!

Our final day begins with one of the fundamental elements of a historian's profession: protection of artifacts and recor...
04/03/2021

Our final day begins with one of the fundamental elements of a historian's profession: protection of artifacts and records from time and nature.

We're joining Nora Lockshin, senior conservator at the Smithsonian Institution Archives; Ms. Janice Ellis, Conservator at the National Museum of American History, and Ms. Lindsay Jones, owner of Blind Eye Restoration LLC, and several others in a discussion of how everyday efforts help immortalize the past for generations to come.

The beat goes on: hear about the women who work hard to preserve the sounds of African and Native American history for g...
04/03/2021

The beat goes on: hear about the women who work hard to preserve the sounds of African and Native American history for generations to come.

We're wrapping up the second day of our virtual symposium with Carol B. Cadou, CEO & Executive Director of the Winterthu...
04/03/2021

We're wrapping up the second day of our virtual symposium with Carol B. Cadou, CEO & Executive Director of the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, the premier museum of American decorative arts.

Learn about her female preservation muses at George Washington's Mount Vernon, the The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America, and National Trust for Historic Preservation.

History is more than just artifacts and records.Languages are living pieces of history, too — tune in to Mary Linn, cura...
04/03/2021

History is more than just artifacts and records.

Languages are living pieces of history, too — tune in to Mary Linn, curator of Cultural and Linguistic Revitalization at the Smithsonian Institution, Ms. Ka’iulani Laeha, CEO of Aha Punana Leo, and Dr. Siri Tuttle, director of University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Native Language Center as they discuss how the understanding of languages ties into historical research and preservation efforts.

Learn about Suzanne Thomassen-Krauss who led the 15-year effort to preserve the Star-Spangled Banner in Dr. Richard Kuri...
04/03/2021

Learn about Suzanne Thomassen-Krauss who led the 15-year effort to preserve the Star-Spangled Banner in Dr. Richard Kurin’s flash talk, “How Women Saved the Star-Spangled Banner.”

Sometimes preservation means going into war torn areas to preserve cultural resources. Hear more about the real-life Mon...
04/02/2021

Sometimes preservation means going into war torn areas to preserve cultural resources. Hear more about the real-life Monuments Women who rescue history from the destructive forces of war and nature — and how preservation truly is a never-ending battle.

Before you head out for the weekend, take a few minutes to register for each day of the 2021 Women in Preservation Virtu...
04/02/2021

Before you head out for the weekend, take a few minutes to register for each day of the 2021 Women in Preservation Virtual Symposium. Registration is free and takes only a few minutes:
https://nscda.org/wips2021/

Sometimes, the law is history's best friend. Farleigh Earhart, associate general counsel to the Smithsonian Institution,...
04/02/2021

Sometimes, the law is history's best friend.

Farleigh Earhart, associate general counsel to the Smithsonian Institution, Ms. Marion F. Werkheiser, founding partner of Cultural Heritage Partners, and others will tell us how law can protect history from short-sighted developers, well-meaning city planners, and a whole host of other modern threats.

History is the responsibility of the future. Meet Eileen Graham of the Smithsonian Institution and Dr. Christine Henry o...
04/02/2021

History is the responsibility of the future.

Meet Eileen Graham of the Smithsonian Institution and Dr. Christine Henry of University of Mary Washington. Through active engagement, support, and education, they're already raising the next generation of historians to preserve today for tomorrow.

You won't find a more star-studded cast of archivists, researchers, conservationists, and historians than the 2021 Women...
04/01/2021

You won't find a more star-studded cast of archivists, researchers, conservationists, and historians than the 2021 Women in Preservation Virtual Symposium.

We hope you'll join us for a celebration of women's contributions to American history — and American future. Register today for one, two or all three of the jam packed days: https://nscda.org/wips2021/

We're excited to cap our online symposium's first day with Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution...
04/01/2021

We're excited to cap our online symposium's first day with Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

Bunch was the first director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, now situated on the National Mall. He oversaw the program's growth from just one staff-member with no collections and funding to a prestigious and beautiful museum that has welcomed over six million visitors since it opened in September 2016.

Tune in for Ms. Cheyney McKnight of Not Your Momma's History and Ms. Laura Keim of Stenton for a quick conversation abou...
03/31/2021

Tune in for Ms. Cheyney McKnight of Not Your Momma's History and Ms. Laura Keim of Stenton for a quick conversation about mindful historical practice at historic sites and addressing misinterpretations of in the United States.

Hear how Dr. Rowena Dasch of the Neill-Cochran House Museum and Dr. Tara Dudley of The University of Texas at Austin are...
03/31/2021

Hear how Dr. Rowena Dasch of the Neill-Cochran House Museum and Dr. Tara Dudley of The University of Texas at Austin are working together to recover diverse voices of the past in their Flash Talk, “Honoring People at Historic Places.”

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We're hiring! The NSCDA is seeking a full-time Assistant Director, Membership, to strengthen National Headquarters support for our members as we launch a new institutional strategic plan for this 128-year-old women’s lineage organization with a focus on membership engagement.

We are looking to fill this position as soon as possible and are accepting applications on a rolling basis. To learn more and to apply, visit: https://nscda.org/careers/
This President's Day, as we celebrate George Washington's 290th birthday, we are also celebrating the 90th birthday of Dumbarton House!

In 1927, the National Board of the NSCDA approved purchase of a historic property for use as its museum and national headquarters. The following year, the NSCDA purchased Belle Vue (as Dumbarton House historically was named). Finally, after the structure was restored to its early 1800s splendor, the public opening of Dumbarton House was purposely planned for the Bicentennial of Washington’s birthday in 1932.

As we reflect on the past ninety-years of Dumbarton House’s public service, we also look towards the future. This spring, to ensure that our historic site serves our 21st century mission to use the latest research and methods to thoroughly understand and accurately represent our American past, we’ll begin restoration of the Best Chamber. Additional renovation to our Visitor Center and second floor education offices is an infrastructure-based investment in our national relevance and our ability to serve schoolchildren coast-to-coast. For more information and to participate in virtual and in-person programming related to these projects be sure to follow Dumbarton House on social media and check out DumbartonHouse.org.
We're hiring! The NSCDA is seeking an Executive Assistant. The Assistant reports to the Executive Director and works in support of the Director, The NSCDA President, and Executive Committee. This position provides administrative support to the Executive Director, NSCDA President, Executive Committee, and serves as a liaison to the National Board and the Dumbarton House Board.

To learn more and to apply, visit:https://nscda.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Executive-Assistant.pdf
Today, on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 we honor those who lost their lives and are grateful for the first responders who answered the call of duty. We also remember the patriotism of our active duty service members and our veterans. May we never forget.
We are thrilled to announce that Carol Cadou has accepted the position of Executive Director NSCDA and National Headquarters Dumbarton House.

To read the full press release, visit: https://nscda.org/the-national-society-of-the-colonial-dames-of-america-announces-new-executive-director/

Photo by Maria DeForrest, Courtesy of Winterthur.
At the Women in Preservation Symposium this past April, we learned that the right to express yourself and be heard--on your terms--is sacred.

The first amendment (the freedom of speech) of the American Constitution uniquely extends to language as well. Our institutional support of language preservation, at places like the Smithsonian and by experts like Mary Linn, are important cornerstones of our field.
When asked to share advice with emerging preservation professionals at this year's Women in Preservation Symposium, Shannon Brogdon-Grantham at Smithsonian delivered.

"Prepare to be a lifelong learner," she said. Your education doesn't end in grad school, preservation challenges you to find new solutions, seek out new teachers, or invent new techniques for every unique object that comes your way.
Preservation is not achieved by one person. Successful efforts are community-driven endeavors.

With the support of social media, our communities can amplify a need or propel action.

At our April Women in Preservation Symposium, Marion F. Werkheiser, of Cultural Heritage Partners encouraged us all by noting "the more you get the public engaged the better the outcome."
We've all discovered just how hard it is to make a personal connection over a screen. With so many of our social outlets shut down during the pandemic many preservation professionals have turned to colleagues for the support and guidance more experienced mentors formerly gave.

But this advice is just as valuable. "Peer-to-peer mentoring is real," said Milan Jordan at our April Women in Preservation Symposium.

Check out the NSCDA's peer-to-peer museum network, our Great American Treasures.
In this challenging year, preservation professionals have been challenged to learn new skills to reach old audiences while navigating a historic pandemic. We can all attest that we've found it hard to reflect and recharge.

At our Women in Preservation Symposium in April, Sarah Marsom reminded us all how important it is for leaders of a movement to practice self-care.

What are you doing to radically support your needs?
This April Sarah Marsom, a featured presenter at the Women in Preservation Symposium and the Power in Preservation exhibition at our national headquarters, @ [53546364029:274:Dumbarton House], shared that preservation advocates are best cultivated "through activity."

Join our movement on May 4th for her Tiny Activist Doll virtual workshop: https://dumbartonhouse.ticketleap.com/tiny-activist-doll-workshop-with-sarah-marsom/
Our very own President, Katherine Cammack kicked off this April's Women in Preservation Symposium.

In her opening remarks, Cammack shared the NSCDA's goal of empowering "this generation and the next, with the complicated and impactful wisdom of our past."

See the NSCDA's preservation in action at any of our 64 Great American Treasures sites this summer!
Lonnie G. Bunch, the Secretary of the Smithsonian sat down with his friend, former colleague, and Dame, Nell Payne this past April at the Women in Preservation Symposium.

When she asked Bunch how preservationists should interpret the past, he responded sagely: "inclusivity saves you from the monopoly of wisdom."
Lonnie G. Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian, shared his hard-earned wisdom on Day 1 of the Women in Preservation Symposium. (A massive, joint endeavor between the and the Smithsonian Institution!)

He challenged the preservation professionals watching to lean into their strengths, that we all "master" our craft.
Diverging passions or opinions may not sway someone else's opinion. Sharing your differences might be just as effective at showing the value of respecting your own, says Ember Farber, the American Alliance of Museums Advocacy Director.

At our April Women in Preservation Symposium Ember remarked that "you don't have to agree with people in order to be heard."
Ember Farber may be the American Alliance of Museums super-advocate. But at our April Women in Preservation Symposium, Ember emboldened us all.

She remarked that "your passion is your superpower."