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Mount Vernon opens $47 million library dedicated to study of George Washington, Founding era

After years of planning and a $100 million fundraising campaign, George Washington's Mount Vernon estate is formally opening a new library dedicated to the study of America's first president and the Founding Fathers.

A Friday dedication ceremony is scheduled at the 45,000 square-foot library.

It will be home to visiting scholars who will live at Mount Vernon and research specific aspects of the Founding era. A rare-book vault houses dozens of books that Washington personally owned.

The library will function in some ways like a modern presidential library. But the Mount Vernon library receives no government funding and is intended primarily to foster formal scholarship; it is not designed to accommodate casual tourists. The estate in 2006 opened new education and orientation centers to serve the public.

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