As we have established by now, I am a big fan of all things presidential. I found this little piece of information that really surprised me this week and I had to share. Can you believe that of all of the American presidents, the first one, George Washington, didn’t have a presidential library until this past Friday? It only took 200+ years. I find that so unbelievable considering that his home is one of the most visited presidential homes and that other more recent presidents have libraries.
Main Entrance to the Library
Photo Credit: Mount Vernon
The presidential library, officially known as The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. This library offers a great opportunity for scholars, employees of Mount Vernon, and also providing various special events to visitors. And if you can’t go to the Library to actually look at the collections, you can access some of them digitally from home. George Washington’s papers are available online for viewing by anyone. His papers cover everything from personal diaries to the Revolutionary War to the Presidential years.
The first special exhibit to be held at the Library is one focusing on George Washington as a reader. The exhibit looks at the types of books that Washington read – his primary focus was on politics, agriculture, religion, and military. You can read more about the exhibit here.
The library is absolutely gorgeous [you can check out more pictures here] and it is a new source of scholarship for those interested in the presidential history as well other Revolutionary period scholarship. If you want to know more about the library and stay up-to-date on events you can follow them on Facebook or Twitter.
There is also a short little video regarding the opening of the library and in discussion with the director.
I’m very impressed with this library.
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