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The Karpeles Manuscript Library is the world’s largest private collection of original manuscripts and documents.The library was founded in 1983 by Californiamarker real estate magnates, David and Marsha Karpeles, with the goal of stimulating interest in learning, especially in children. All of the Karpeles Manuscript Library services are free.


To make the documents more accessible, there are nine Karpeles museums across the US. Items are rotated between museums quarterly and each of the museums present a daily general exhibit and one or more special scheduled exhibits throughout the year. In addition, Karpeles is aggressively expanding the content of its web site. Each of the libraries is located in an historic building.

Santa Barbara, California

Tacoma, Washington

Newburgh, New York

Jacksonville, Florida

The museum in Jacksonville is located in the former First Church of Christ, Scientist marker, a 1921 neoclassical building in the Springfieldmarker area downtown. Most residents have never even heard of, let alone visited, Karpeles, but many of their children have.There is also an antique-book library, with volumes dating from the late 1800s, and a children's center.

Duluth, Minnesota

The Duluth Museum is housed in an old Christian Scientist Church built in 1912.

Charleston, South Carolina

The Charleston library is housed in an 1856 building that is a copy of the Temple of Jupiter in Romemarker. It was built as a Methodist Church.

Buffalo, New York

Manuscript Museum Buffalo,NY
The Buffalo museum building was originally a Church of Christ, Scientist (Christian Science Church) built in 1911.

Shreveport, Louisiana

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Kapeles Manuscript Museum, Fort Wayne, is housed in a domed church built in 1940 as the First Church of God. It is located at 3039 Piqua Ave. The Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 to 4. The museum houses a rotating collection of unique documents and artifacts. The collection's caliber and breadth are the direct result of the efforts of David and Marsha Karpeles. The museum provides an educational outreach program in the form of mini-museum displays that are set up in local school buildings and maintained by museum staff.

Examples of documents from the collection


  • Beethoven's "Emperor Concerto"
  • Handel's "Messiah in the hand of Beethoven"
  • Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro"
  • Wagner's "Wedding March"


  • Darwin's Theory of Evolution
  • Decartes' Treatise as the Father of Philosophy
  • Einstein's Theory of Relativity
  • Galileo's announcement of the completion of his publication Dialogue on Two New Sciences
  • Excerpts from John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  • A note written by Charles Lindbergh
  • A portion of Newton's studies on religion
  • Astronomer Michael R. Molnar's Mystery of the Star of Bethlehem


  • The first printing of the Ten Commandments from The Gutenberg Bible
  • Calvin's Ioannis Calvinus
  • Crusades: Proclamation of the Holy Crusades
  • Luther and the Birth of Protestant Movement
  • Pope Lucius III's Proclamation of the Holy Crusade


  • Roget's Thesaurus
  • The dramatic version of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer
  • Webster's Dictionary

Political history

  • Bill of Rights
  • Confederate Constitution
  • The Declaration of Allegiance to the Government of the United States by the Native American Indian
  • Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation
  • Hancock: John Hancock's Cover Letter to the Declaration of Independence
  • Olive Branch Petition
  • Thanksgiving Proclamation of the United States
  • George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation


  • Christopher Columbus' Lettera Rarissima
  • Sir Ernest Shackleton's hand-drawn map of Antarctica
  • Amelia Earhart's Certificate of Landing for her solo flight across the Atlantic


  • Pat Burger Homeless Exhibit Collection
  • Louise Donahue Music Composers Exhibit Collection
  • The Lawrence Williams Presidential Collection
  • Dona McPhillips Historical Exhibit Collection
  • Norman Rockwell pencil drafts Exhibit Collection
  • The Brock Brothers Illustration Archive
  • Classic Book Illustrations

See also


  1. Experience Official site of Washington State tourism
  2. Historic Manuscript Exhibitions: From Cuneiform to Walt’s Will , By Austin Constdine, New York Times, October 27, 2006 [1]
  3. Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum - Shreveport, Louisiana
  4. Duluth, Minnesota Guide to hotels, restaurants, activities, and events
  5. Florida Times-Union: Jan 21, 2001-Get it documented: David Karpeles, creator of manuscript museums
  6. Fodor' Travel advisor: Jacksonville

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