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.
Historian David McCullough said at Friday's ceremony that Washington was ``an infinitely interesting man'' and that much can still be learned from studying his life.