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Washington library gets $10m gift

WASHINGTON — Philanthropist David Rubenstein is giving $10 million to George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Northern Virginia to build a library for the president’s books and papers.

Mount Vernon officials say the gift announced Sunday surpasses their fund-raising goal of $100 million for the project. It also marks what would have been Washington’s 281st birthday Friday.

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The National Library for the Study of George Washington is scheduled to open Sept. 27. It will be a center for scholarly research and leadership training for government, military, nonprofit, and corporate officials, as well as students and educators.

Rubenstein says Washington’s character and qualities provide a timeless example of leadership.

The library’s largest meeting hall will be named for Rubenstein. His gift also funds a $4 million endowment for rare books and manuscripts.

Washington’s library consisted of about 900 volumes at the time of his death. Many are now part of the collection of the Boston Athenaeum. Others were sold at auction to other groups and individuals.

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