The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington
Located on a 55-acre portion of Mount Vernon Estate near the Mount Vernon Inn Complex and the western visitor parking lot. The site is a part of Washington’s original farm.
The Library, courtyard, parking and guesthouse will cover about five acres of the site. The rest will remain wooded.
The Library and adjacent guesthouse will be approximately 45,000 square feet. The Library will consist of three levels built into a hillside to take advantage of topography and views to and from the building.
The Library itself will provide archival storage conditions for the nearly 24,000 volumes, manuscripts, newspapers, maps and archival items that constitute Mount Vernon’s Special Collections. Mount Vernon owns 40 Washington books as well as close to 450 manuscripts that bear George Washington’s signature. The archives include those of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, the oldest historic preservation organization in the nation.
The Library will house Mount Vernon’s modern collections of approximately 12,000 books, serials and periodicals as well as reference materials containing biographical information about the Washington family, the continuous history of the Mount Vernon Estate, and 18th-century American life and culture. The Library will eventually serve as home to the office and files of the Papers of George Washington project.
The Library will provide office space for library staff, the special collections department, much of the curatorial staff, and the outreach division of the education department. The largest meeting room will seat 100 auditorium-style or about 60 classroom-style. The two smaller meeting rooms will seat 50 each.
The guesthouse will be approximately 3,500 square feet. It will provide living space for up to six scholars, visiting fellows, and lecturers for a day, a week or months at a time.
The parking lots will have space for approximately 50 cars. Overflow parking is available in the nearby western visitor lot.