Collingwood's ongoing mission is to acquire, catalogue, process, protect and present to the public, documents literature, artifacts and displays which tend to promote, enhance and inspire patriotism in the citizens of the United States and portray the best possible image of our Nation's development to visitors from foreign lands; and further, to provide reference sources for students seeking material for themes, essays, dissertations and theses on the history of this nation.
In keeping with this goal, the Foundation has amassed over 4500 volumes of non-fiction books relating to American history and culture. The term "non-fiction" isn't exactly correct because there are a few books of fiction which are so historically accurate as to be of great value in the study of Americana. An example is the book, "My Antonia", by Willa Cather which, although a book of fiction, is so historically accurate as to be useful as a reference.
Examples of the Library's unique collections include a complete six volume set and an incomplete 39 volume set of the writings of George Washington which lacks only three volumes; an extensive collection of American Indian history; a collection of Harpers Magazine beginning with issue number one, from 1850 through 1910; an unusually diverse and valuable 280 volume collection from the personal library of a former US Army Chief of Staff. On display in the library is an autographed copy of the celebrated poem, 'A Toast to the Flag", by John Jay Daly. Also on display in the library are bronze plaques of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Museum has a gold-cast copy of the Magna Carta. It is # 112 of 500 made by the Library of London in 1976 as a tribute to our Bicentennial.
Also contained in the library is a 19,000 volume micro-fiche set of the History of American Civilization compiled by the Encyclopedia Britannica and the Smithsonian Institution. There are only two of these sets in Northern Virginia.
The library also houses genealogy belonging to the District of Columbia Chapter of the Descendants of the Mayflower.
The Foundation exists entirely upon contributions from the public.
The Library and Museum are open 10 am to 4 pm on Monday
10am to 4pm Wednesday through Saturday
and 1 to 4 pm on Sunday.
We are closed Tuesday.