About the New York Society

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of New York (NSCDNY) was formed in 1893 as the ninth corporate society to become a member of the NSCDA, an organization devoted to furthering an appreciation of our national heritage through historic preservation, patriotic service, and educational projects.

The NSCDNY is dedicated to educating the community about the unique history of New Amsterdam and Colonial New York with an emphasis on the vital and prominent role of women in all aspects of daily life including commerce and politics. We highlight a unique aspect of New Amsterdam: the prominent role of women in commerce, the “She Merchants,” and the stories of other formidable women and their exceptional role in our country’s early history. The NSCDNY brings the stories of these women of the past and links them to the important role of women in New York in all facets of society in the present.

The NSCDNY brings the Dutch and English colonies to life through hands-on, interactive exhibits, personal stories and historical documents at their two museum properties in New York, the Van Cortlandt House Museum and Headquarters House Museum. Both museum properties feature educational programs for children and adults as well as prominent decorative arts collections. An Educational Projects Committee, Museum Director and staff, give adult tours and present educational programs for children at both properties.

The individual Corporate Societies, including the New York Society, are composed of women lineally descended from a colonial ancestor who rendered significant service to the founding of our nation before July 5, 1776 and resided in an American Colony prior to 1750. Eligibility requirements may be obtained from the Society’s Registrar and membership in the organization is by sponsorship only.

The National Society

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America actively promotes our national heritage through historic preservation, patriotic service, and educational projects. The NSCDA, founded in 1891, is an association of 45 Corporate Societies with over 15,000 members. The Society headquarters is located at Dumbarton House, a Federal period museum house 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.



215 East 71st Street,
New York, N.Y., 10021
Tel (212) 744-3572,
Fax (212) 988-1776
email: info@nscdny.org

Van Cortlandt House Museum

The Van Cortlandt House Museum, is the oldest building in The Bronx, New York City.
Van Cortland House Museum.org


We offer an authentic experience based on colonial daily life in New Amsterdam through our interactive field trip program which ties in with the New York City Department of Education Social Studies standards.

virtutes majorum filiae conservant

(women are the keepers of the past)