duPont Library & Collections

The Jessie Ball duPont Memorial Library 

The duPont Memorial Library, located on the grounds of Stratford Hall, serves as an educational classroom, meeting space, and research facility for studying four generations of Lees and their slaves, indentured workers, plantation landscape, and the Lee family’s impact on the development of this nation. 

The library was constructed in 1980 in memory of Jessie Ball duPont, a member of Stratford Hall’s first Board of Directors and a generous supporter of education and research. The duPont Library is now home to the Lee Family Digital Archive, an on-line repository for Lee family documents and reference materials.

In addition to its specialized reference collection of approximately 8,000 books on American history, biography, architecture, gardening, and the decorative arts, the library holds special collections of more than 4,000 rare books, manuscripts, historic photographs, and the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association archives. A digital catalog of the rare book collection is available on-line at the Founding Fathers Library Consortium website. The duPont Library’s partnership through the Consortium with the libraries at Mount Vernon and Gunston Hall brings our resources to an increasingly larger audience.

COLLECTIONS & RESEARCH

The collections at Stratford Hall contain examples of man-made, as well as natural, objects.  Some collections are better documented than others, but all are considered important resources for understanding and presenting Stratford Hall’s unique history.

The curatorial collection, a collection of objects acquired for the purpose of exhibition or research, includes decorative and fine arts, horse-drawn vehicles, tools, and textiles. 

The onsite archaeological collection includes artifacts from the 17th-century Clifts Plantation site at Stratford, excavated in the 1970s.  Most of the artifacts from the excavations of the Stratford Hall-Mary Washington Field School in Historic Archaeology are currently housed at the University of Mary Washington.  Excavation details for a small Slave quarter site (ST116) and the West Yard can be found on the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS) website. 

The architectural collection consists mainly of salvaged architectural elements that were removed from the main house at Stratford during the 1930s restoration work. 

The paleontological collection is composed of the fossilized remains of marine plants and animals (including whales and crocodiles), the majority dating from the Miocene Epoch. It also includes footprints (or tracks) of various land animals that once roamed the ancient shoreline.

These collections are available for research by appointment on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  To request an appointment, please contact Amy Connolly, Stratford’s Collections and Exhibits Manager, by calling (804) 493-1944 or by email at aconnolly@stratfordhall.org

The library’s collections are used to support education programming, collections, and preservation at Stratford Hall. The library is also open, by appointment,  to visiting researchers, teachers, students, and the general public. Special collections include: Lee Family Papers and Walter Herron Taylor Papers.

Hours of Operation

The duPont Library is open for research by appointment only Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m..  The library is closed for the following holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve & Day, New Year’s Eve and Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

Request an Appointment

We welcome researchers who are interested in learning about the Lees of Virginia and the times in which they lived. Prior to visiting, please schedule an appointment with Judy Hynson, Director of Research & Archivist, by calling (804) 493-1940 or by email at jshynson@stratfordhall.org

Directions

The duPont Library is located next to Stratford Hall’s Visitor Center. Parking is available in the Visitor Center or Library parking lots. Our mailing address is: duPont Library, Stratford Hall, 483 Great House Road, Stratford, Virginia 22558.