The following is information taken from the mountvernon.org website. Here is a wonderful opportunity to support a privately held organization that allows us to have a glimpse into George Washingon’s life that is otherwise not available.
By making a tax-deductible contribution to Mount Vernon, you can help ensure that the life and legacy of George Washington are preserved for future generations.
From the site:
The Mission of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is to preserve, restore, and manage the estate of George Washington to the highest standards and to educate visitors and people throughout the world about the life and legacies of George Washington, so that his example of character and leadership will continue to inform and inspire
About The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association
Mount Vernon is owned and maintained in trust for the people of the United States by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union, a private, non-profit organization (501c3) founded in 1853 by Ann Pamela Cunningham. The Association is the oldest national historic preservation organization in the country, and it has always been in the forefront of the restoration field. It is directed by a Board of Regents, comprised solely of women, who represent nearly 30 states. Also, a Board of Advisors of prominent citizens from across the country convenes twice a year to provide additional input on Mount Vernon’s governance. The estate, gift shops and dining facilities are operated by over 500 paid employees and over 400 volunteers.
Mount Vernon is the most popular historic estate in America and is open 365 days a year. Over 80 million people have visited Mount Vernon since 1860, when the estate was officially opened to the public. Mount Vernon welcomes an average of one million guests each year.
The estate, gardens and farm of Mount Vernon totaled some 8,000 acres in the 18th century. Today, nearly 500 acres of this historic property have been preserved along the banks of the Potomac River. Guests can see Washington’s mansion and other original structures. The estate also includes the tomb of George and Martha Washington, a memorial dedicated to the slaves who lived and worked on the estate, the Ford Orientation Center, and the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center which includes 25 theaters and galleries.
Mount Vernon does not accept grants from federal, state or local governments, and no tax dollars are expended to support its purposes. Primary sources of income are revenue from the retail and dining facilities, ticket sales, and donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals.
Click for Contact Information.
Click for more information on how you can Support Mount Vernon’s Mission.
Take a virtual tour of the mansion here: http://www.mountvernon.org/visit-his-estate/virtual-tour-flash
Coming in 2013:
Fred W. Smith National Library
for the Study of George Washington
Educational Reaources: George Washington’s material objects and ideas give us some of the best clues as to how to interpret the life and times of the nation’s first president. Mount Vernon’s library, collections, and education department exist to navigate these exhaustive resources and share them with the public. Whether searching for Washington’s dentures, seeking a rare text on the commander in chief, or preparing a lesson about the first president’s leadership style, an abundance of online assets lie at your fingertips. Please explore, enjoy, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for, ask!
For the first time, Mount Vernon’s vast collection of books, manuscripts and archival materials will be organized, conserved and made available to researchers in building reflecting the highest level of security, climate control and architectural design. Mount Vernon broke ground on the National Library on April 14, 2011. It is expected to open in 2013.
- About the Library
- The Need for a Library
- Design Overview: Library, Scholars’ Residence & Grounds
- Documents and Collections
- Meetings and Conference
- Education and Media Information
- Support the Campaign
About the Library
Located on the picturesque and historic setting of the Mount Vernon estate, the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington will serve as a worldwide repository for expertise about Washington, his achievements, and his legacies. Equally important, the multi-faceted facility will aggressively disseminate knowledge about Washington to the widest range of audiences, using state-of-the-art technology and cutting edge approaches to sustain our growing national network of George Washington experts and enthusiasts.
No president in American history deserves the honor of a presidential library more than our first chief executive – nor is there a better story to tell. Destined to be the international headquarters for knowledge about America’s most famous founding father, this is a long overdue initiative that will maintain Washington’s importance and relevance in a fast-changing world, when his standards of leadership are needed more than ever.
The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington will achieve three important objectives. It will store and safeguard the irreplaceable books and letters of George Washington, and enable scholars, students, and other special audiences to conduct important research in a state-of-the-art library placed in an inspiring environment. This library will also be the international headquarters for a series of assertive and creative outreach programs that will give special attention to students and teachers, and use the latest technologies to keep pace in a rapidly changing world. And finally, the National Library will host a variety of seminars and training programs with a special focus on Washington’s leadership. In the process, it will become a worldwide resource which ensures that the relevance of our greatest American is not lost somewhere between ivy-covered walls and the digital age.
The Need for a Library
Knowledge and appreciation of George Washington have declined significantly over the past generation. Mount Vernon opened new facilities in 2006 that have attacked this problem head-on, and since then, more than four million people entered through the Ford Orientation Center to discover Washington in a far more significant and memorable fashion. Yet, the teaching of history and its lessons learned – especially that of our nation’s founding era – continues to descend on the list of educational priorities, whether in the local kindergarten or the ivy-covered university.
What is virtually ignored in schools will ultimately be reflected in society at large; so this decline in Washington’s visibility and relevance in our lives should not be surprising. What is surprising is the lack of concern among most Americans, even those who have followed in Washington’s footsteps in military or government service.
Why does it really matter? Because Washington’s life still reflects the epitome of American leadership and character. He should be relevant to each new generation because the most prominent character traits demonstrated by Washington – strong moral values, undaunted courage, solid and consistent judgment, unabashed patriotism, and his complete commitment to what is best for his country – never go out of style. His actions defined civility during an uncivil period, as he showed how one person’s example and deeds can make an enormous difference. Washington was our first national hero, and his leadership was once our nation’s greatest resource. His personal traits should be studied, celebrated, and emulated as timeless hallmarks of conduct.
Design Overview: Library, Scholars’ Residence and Grounds Library
The 45,000-square-foot library will occupy a 15-acre site to the west of George Washington’s historic home on the banks of the Potomac River. A drive winding through a woodland of native trees and plantings will lead to the building’s entrance court and visitor parking area. A 6,000-square-foot Scholars’ Residence adjacent to the library will provide living quarters for up to eight resident scholars.
Visitors to the National Library will enter a two-story hall where sunlight will flood the beech-paneled space through a skylight in the roof. They will be helped to their destinations by library staff at the information desk recessed into one side of the lobby. Glass doors are designed to provide views of the adjacent reading room and its surrounding garden. The bridge above the doors will connect the offices on the second level to bring together education and curatorial staff.
The heart of the National Library will be devoted to the main reading room, rare books and manuscript rooms, and stacks for modern volumes. The larger wing on the east side will provide spaces for seminars, lectures and training programs on George Washington’s life, times and remarkable leadership. Offices in the west wing and on the second floor will supply work spaces for visiting scholars and 30 staff members.
Adjoining this space, the rare books and manuscripts room will center on a table and chairs to provide a place for teachers, researchers and participants in leadership programs to review historic documents in a secure environment. Letters written by George and Martha Washington as well as other treasures from the 1700s will be preserved within archival storage lining the walls.
Located just 150 feet west of the library, the Scholars’ Residence will enable out-of-town historians, authors, and fellows to reside as close as possible to their work, in a retreat-like environment. The modest building consists of six guest rooms, two guest apartments, a small kitchen, and a combination living/dining area.
A charming garden outside the education wing will center on an informal lawn surrounded by native deciduous and evergreen plantings. Flowering shrubs and woodland species will frame the lawn to define an intimate space within the larger landscape. A drift of Washington favorites like dogwood and redbud trees will add spring and fall interest. A large sandstone terrace at one end of the lawn will extend the conference and training wing of the library. Glass doors in the gathering area will open directly to accommodate outdoor events.
Documents & Collections
One of the library’s principal goals will be to provide a secure and environmentally-friendly home to Mount Vernon’s vast and growing collection of books, manuscripts, and other archival materials. Fortunately, Mount Vernon owns 46 books that belonged to George Washington, as well as some 450 letters and other manuscripts written in his hand. Our collection also includes thousands of important books, newspapers, manuscripts, and documents from the 18th and 19th century. For the first time, this treasure trove will be organized, conserved, copied, and stored in common space that reflects the highest level of security and climate control.
This additional care for the collection, however, does not mean that it will become less accessible to the public. As we digitize the highlights while expanding and upgrading the collection, we will also add new electronic media about the founding era, allowing a significant amount of expanding information to be accessible to everyone. But the National Library will also be designed to allow historians and authors to spend time with the original books and manuscripts and will even include substantial capacity for interns as well as for visiting and resident scholars. Another ambition will be to re-create Washington’s entire library collection in a handsome yet super-secure vault.
When the library opens its doors, there will be room for not only the natural growth which takes place at any quality library, but also for accommodating new donations of books and manuscripts that we expect to materialize in the years ahead.
Meetings & Conferences
The National Library will also include space to host groups or organize formal training programs and extensive leadership seminars.
The conference and training center will begin with the curved limestone wall of the vault where George Washington’s books will be stored. This reception space will lead to meeting and seminar rooms supporting the leadership and teaching institutes held at the National Library. Wood-paneled walls will incorporate monitors for displaying event schedules and images, and exhibits of historic artifacts from Mount Vernon’s collections. Glass doors at one end will open to a garden terrace providing outdoor meeting and social space for participants.
Groups of up to 50 participants, including senior officials of government, corporations and nonprofits, will gather in mid-sized conference rooms to participate in leadership and training programs. One goal of these seminars is to foster a deep understanding of George Washington’s exemplary leadership with the hope that today’s executives will follow in his footsteps. Government officials, corporate executives and senior administrators of universities and nonprofit organizations will gain inspiration from Washington’s character and ethics through leadership programs held in the National Library’s conference facilities.
The National Library’s conference and training center will culminate in a large conference room opening to a garden terrace. Movable tables and chairs will allow the space to be reconfigured for lectures, events and gatherings of various sizes. The walls enclosing the space will incorporate beech paneling as well as a state-of-the-art projection screen and equipment. A series of busts commemorating the nation’s Founding Fathers are being specially commissioned for the room.
Education & Outreach
We live in an age when Washington’s coverage in the classroom continues to decline, while his many achievements, diverse interests, and versatile skills are vastly underappreciated. Combating this challenge becomes much more daunting when the Association reaches beyond the gates of Mount Vernon. But, no other institution in America is addressing the undisputed fact that with each new generation, our nation’s best example of character and leadership is becoming less of a great resource and more of a distant icon.
For the past 15 years, Mount Vernon has been increasingly active in developing special programs for visitor audiences at the Mount Vernon estate, as well as creating and distributing materials which can be used by teachers and students in the classroom. Many of these programs – particularly the George Washington Teacher’s Institute and the George Washington Biography Lesson – are time-tested and well-established in a number of states. The National Library will allow us to make great strides in educational outreach, as we use the new resources of the library to “turn up the volume” of these programs, so that they can touch the lives of many more students, teachers, and scholars across the nation.
Building on our success with proven education, preservation, and collections programs, we will invest in more intensive scholarship, new partnerships, and fresh creative outreach, all reinforced through on-site seminars and leadership training for students and professionals.
To view press releases and background materials about the National Library, visitour online pressroom.
For high-resolution images or video files, contact Melissa Wood, Media Relations Manager, at 703-799-5203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support the Campaign
The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association holds George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in trust for the American people. A 501(c)(3) charitable organization, it does not receive taxpayer or government monies, but relies solely on the generosity of patriotic people. As this library will be paid for entirely with private donations, it will be the only presidential library funded with no government money.
We invite you to help realize George Washington’s dream to house his papers on his estate through support for the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. This unique archival and educational facility will reach far beyond its walls through online documents and programs made available to millions around the world. Through this outreach, new generations will be introduced to the man who defines our national character.
For more information, please contact:
VP of Advancement