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The first president of the United States finally has his own presidential library at Mount Vernon.
While it is similar to modern presidential libraries, it has key differences, The Associated Press reports.
The Fred W. Smith National Library is meant more for formal studying and will not subsist on governmental funding like most presidential libraries. It will be a place visiting scholars can research the founding era of the country's history while staying at Mount Vernon.
The library cost $106 million, which was raised through donations and contains a collection of Washington's personal books and manuscripts, The Washington Post notes.
Mount Vernon President Curt Viebranz said, "I wouldn't say we, as an institution, would be thought of as a place of serious scholarship around the founding era and Washington. ...I think now, if we do this correctly, we will be."
The opening ceremony of the library is on Friday and will feature speeches from Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell, Senator Timothy M. Kaine and Senator Mark R. Warner. The opening address is to be by David McCullough.
The library contains state of the art digital equipment, meeting rooms and rooms for visiting scholars.
"We need to think of it, really, as a kind of center for the study of George Washington," library director Douglas Bradburn says. "Anybody writing anything on Washington or his era -- we want them to feel like they need to come here."
image: Wikimedia Commons