Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

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The Karpeles Manuscript Library is the world’s largest private collection of original manuscripts and documents.[1] The library was founded in 1983 by California real estate magnates, David and Marsha Karpeles, with the goal of stimulating interest in learning, especially in children.[2][3] All of the Karpeles Manuscript Library services are free.[4]

Libraries[edit]

To make the documents more accessible, there are twelve 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 website.[5] Each of the libraries is located in a historic building.

Alvin, Texas[edit]

Karpeles Manuscript Library in Alvin, Texas is located in the old First Methodist Church building at 800 West Sidnor St., about a 30 minute drive from Houston. As of December, 2012, its opening date had not been announced.

Buffalo, New York[edit]

In Buffalo, the Karpeles Museum consists of two separate buildings: (1) Porter Hall at 453 Porter Avenue at Jersey Street and Plymouth Avenue and (2) North Hall at 220 North Street at Elmwood Avenue. The Porter Hall was originally the Plymouth Methodist Church, while the North Hall was originally First Church of Christ, Scientist, built in 1911.

Charleston, SC location

Charleston, South Carolina[edit]

Karpeles Manuscript Museum in Charleston library is housed in a former Methodist church named St. James Chapel which was built in 1856. The building is in the Greek Revival style following the Corinthian order and was inspired by the Temple of Jupiter in Rome. During the Civil War Confederates used the building as a hospital and stored medical supplies there. Hurricane Hugo tore off the roof of the building and destroyed its interior on September 21, 1989. Following renovation, the building reopened on November 11, 1990.[6]

Duluth, Minnesota[edit]

The Duluth Museum 46°47′49″N 92°04′58″W / 46.79694°N 92.08278°W / 46.79694; -92.08278 at 902 East 1st Street was originally First Church of Christ, Scientist, built in 1912.[7]

Fort Wayne, Indiana[edit]

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 artefacts. The collection's calibre 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.

Jacksonville location

Jacksonville, Florida[edit]

The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Jacksonville is located in the former First Church of Christ, Scientist building, a 1921 neoclassical structure in the Springfield neighbourhood. Most residents have never even heard of, let alone visited, Karpeles, but many of their children have.[8] There is also an antique-book library, with volumes dating from the late 1800s, and a children's center.

Newburgh, New York[edit]

The Karpeles in Newburgh, New York is located at 94 Broadway. It houses the Dona McPhillips Historical Painting Series which includes many portraits of famous Americans grouped together as "Founding Fathers", "Civil War Union", "Civil War Confederates", "Indian Heroes", "More Indian Heroes", "Pathfinders", "Texas", "Blacks", "Pioneers" and "Women".

Rock Island, Illinois[edit]

Rock Island location

The museum building in Rock Island was originally First Church of Christ, Scientist, built in 1896 in the Broadway Historic District and is expected to open in January or February 2012. Chris Kelly is the interim director.[9]

Santa Barbara, California[edit]

The world's largest private holding of important original documents and manuscripts is located at 21 W. Anapamu St. Santa Barbara CA 93101

Shreveport, Louisiana[edit]

The Karpeles Manuscript Library in Shreveport at 3201 Centenary Avenue was originally First Church of Christ, Scientist.

Tacoma, Washington[edit]

The Karpeles Manuscript Museum in Tacoma, Washington is located at 407 South G Street, across the street from the Wright Park Arboretum.

Examples of documents from the collection[edit]

Music[edit]

Science[edit]

Religion[edit]

Literature[edit]

Political history[edit]

Exploration[edit]

Artwork[edit]

  • Pat Burger Homeless Exhibit Collection
  • Dona McPhillips Historical Exhibit Collection
  • Norman Rockwell pencil drafts Exhibit Collection
  • The Brock Brothers Illustration Archive
  • Classic Book Illustrations

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • LA Times, "Worth more than the paper it's printed on", February 15, 2004.
  • Nicholas A. Basbanes, A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books, Henry Holt, New York, 1995, pp. 437-444.

External links[edit]