Inclusive dates
  • Records, 1929-1984 (bulk 1968-1976) of the Pioneer America Society, based in Falls Church, Virginia. The files were collected by Henry H. Douglas, Executive Director of the Pioneer Society of America and were maintained in their original order. The records are arranged into two series: 1. State/Country Files and 2. Subject Files
  • The records document the efforts of the organization to detail and record information on historical buildings, landscapes, people, and towns in America. The files include brochures, clippings, correspondence, data sheets, maps, photographs, and postcards. Also included are various newsletters from local and national organizations. The collection does not contain any of the organizations internal files such as financial records, membership lists, or minutes, although some correspondence is included. Rather the collection consists of files the organization created for information purposes on subjects they considered important for their mission of documenting America's historic treasures
  • Series I: State/Country Files, 1929-1984 (bulk 1968-1978). This series consists of booklets, clippings, correspondence, newsletters, photographs, and postcards collected on various conservation topics. The files are arranged by state name and includes some foreign country files such as China, Japan, Russia, and Siberia. Topics include the documentation of the towns and villages in America; the history of canals, farms, forts, gold mines, mills, and railroads; how growth of cities threaten historical sites; and efforts and grants by individuals, societies, and the government to save historic sites. Also includes brochures from museums, historical sites, and local tourist bureaus across the country. Includes newsletters from the American Canal Society, Kansas Historical Society Mirror, The Long Island in History Series, Montana Post, Pennsylvania Heritage, and Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. The files on Maryland and Virginia are the most complete, with files for cities and counties in the state
  • Of note are the data sheets, prepared by the Pioneer America Society. These data sheets include information on various buildings and people noted for their historical significance. The sheets include the location and coordinates, photographs, and notes. The photographs are of various historic buildings such as churches, farms, homes, post offices, and schools, and of local people. Some of the data sheets also include notes and descriptions of the buildings, especially if a photograph is not attached. These data sheets are informative, but unfortunately very dispersed within the collection. Most can be found within the Pennsylvania and Virginia files
  • Also included are letters to Henry H. Douglas from other organizations asking for copies of books or newsletters published by the society, from members, and sharing information to be included in the society's newsletter. Also included are files on William E. Barrett (b. 1927), a photographer from Clifton, Virginia. He donated photographs to be used in the publications, Echoes of History and Pioneer America. Included are copies of photographs and images from a calendar of historic structures in Virginia
  • Series II: Subject Files, 1937-1983 (bulk 1970-1975). This series also consists of booklets, clippings, magazine articles, newsletters, and postcards collected on various conservation topics, arranged by subject, rather than by location. Subject files include architecture, automobiles, bicentennial, blast furnaces, circuses, civil war, covered bridges, farming, Indians, Thomas Jefferson, lime kilns, living history, money raising, National Endowment for the Humanities, people, photography, pollution, preservation, railroads, rivers, roads, tobacco, trolleys, George Washington, wilderness, and Zeppelins, among others
  • Includes newsletters from the American Folklore Society, Bicentennial Newsletter, Council on Abandoned MIlitary Posts, Early Man, The Headway Recorder (National Capital Historical Museum of Transportation) Living Historical Fams Bulletin, Lynchburg Historical Society, Old Mills News, Pennsylvania Canal Society, Shenandoah Vallye Folklore Society, Society for Industrial Archeology, Society of Architectural Historians, and the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
The Pioneer America Society was founded in July 1967 and officially incorporated in December 1968 in Virginia. The founder and executive director was Henry H. Douglas (1903-1987). The Society's mission was to record and document the evidence of America's cultural landscape, architecture, and artifacts and encourage educational programs, scholarly research, and preservation. The organization published the newsletters, "Pioneer America" and "Echoes of History." In 1976 due to financial deficits the Society was disbanned and publication of "Echoes of History" was discontinued. At a later point the organization was re-established and is currently active (2006).
Cataloging source
Form designation
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
Immediate source of acquisition
Special Collections
Type of unit
cu. ft.

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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