The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America, founded in 1891, is an unincorporated association of 45 Corporate Societies with over 15,000 members. The Society headquarters is located at Dumbarton House (pictured below), a federal period house museum in Washington, D.C. 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.
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.