Mount Vernon library dedicated Friday

(Photo: Suzanne Kennedy)

MOUNT VERNON, Va. (AP) - After years of planning and a $100 million fundraising campaign, George Washington's Mount Vernon estate has formally opened a new library dedicated to the study of America's first president and the Founding Fathers.

A Friday ceremony dedicated 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.

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.