The American Heritage Library and Museum was founded in 1893 as a repository for books and reference materials relating to the American Revolution; early Americana, Military History, California and local history. For over a century it has been operated and maintained as a service to the public by the Sons of the Revolution in the State of California, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Use of the Library is free to anyone in keeping with the purposes 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."
By the turn of the century, the Library's collection consisted of 5,000 volumes. Growth of the collection, through direct acquisition and gifts, has been steady over the past one hundred years, and has included by gift several major private collections, including the Major General Walter P. Story Collection, the Orra E. Monnette Collection, the Arthur J. Waters Collection; the Frank W. Hobby III Collection; the Arden Howell Brame, Jr. II Collection; the Mark J. Denger Collection; the Richard H. Breithaupt Jr. Collection; the Admiral Stuart Low Collection; and the Admiral Howard Fithian Kingman Collection.
The Library, today comprised of over 35,000 titles and is well known as one of the largest collections relating to the American Revolution and Colonial America in the western United States. An ongoing fund, supplemented by gifts from the community, provides for facility growth and an aggressive book and periodical acquisition program to maintain, broaden and update the collection. The Library is also a very practical research center for those interested in the study of early American and California National Gurad and military history, particularly that of the development of Colonial America, the American Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and American military history in general.
In addition to a fine collection of books, periodicals and manuscripts, the American Heritage Library and Museum is blessed with a magnificent collection of historical artifacts, many of which are on public display. These include George Washington's Saddle Pad; a flag reviewed by President George Washington in the First Trade Procession of Boston in 1789; early Naval boarding swords and other memorabilia from the USS Constitution and the War of 1812; a portrait of Gen. John C. Fremont, hero of the Mexican War and one of California's military governors and this state's first U.S. senator; a pair of fire buckets from Adm. David G. Farragut's flagship, the Hartford; and an original autographed copy of "America", just to name a few.
We invite you to visit this magnificent library and museum. This facility is located a short two blocks from the Glendale Galleria, and its helpful staff are always ready to assist you in your research endeavors.
The Braddock-Washington's Saddle Pad, made of leopard skin, was originally owned by Maj. Gen. Edward Braddock at the time of his death in 1755 during the French and Indian Wars, after which it was presented to George Washington along with Braddock's horse and personal servant.
Portrait of Senator John C. Fremont, done from life in 1855 by T. Buchanan Read.