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George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens Launches New George Washington Encyclopedia
George Washington’s Mount Vernon launches a new online
initiative designed to be the authoritative online resource for all things George Washington. The
Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington is geared towards a diverse audience including
teachers, students, independent researchers, and anyone with a burning question about George
Washington’s life! The encyclopedia allows users to explore more than 200 digital source
materials and objects from George Washington’s estate. This project was developed over the
course of one year as an initiative of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George
Washington, set to open fall 2013. The Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington can be
accessed through Mount Vernon’s website, http://www.mountvernon.org/encyclopedia
"The Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington is an excellent opportunity to provide the
public with engaging content on the life and legacy of Washington,” the encyclopedia’s editor,
Adam D. Shprintzen, said in a release. “I have been truly fortunate to work with an impressive
mix of both established and burgeoning scholars, and I look forward to growing the encyclopedia
and its resources.”
The encyclopedia currently includes 300 entries, and Mount Vernon plans to double the number
by the summer of 2013. Entries are written by a diverse mix of established and burgeoning
scholars, as well as Mount Vernon staff and experts. Entries focus on Washington’s life and
experiences, while also covering the Mount Vernon estate, its history, and preservation. Objects,
lithographs, letters, portraits, and other primary source material account for the digital primary
sources are integrated throughout the encyclopedia.
George Washington understood the value of a comprehensive encyclopedia. Washington was so
enamored with the possibilities provided by an encyclopedia that he ordered two sets of
Philadelphia printer Thomas Dobson's Encyclopedia, or A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and
Miscellaneous Literature. Mount Vernon’s collection contains duplicate copies of this
encyclopedia for his own personal library. The digital encyclopedia sets the stage for further
ventures merging history and technology, a key focus of the library. The library is destined to be
the first and only center for amassing and disseminating knowledge about America’s most
famous founding father.