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Duluth, Minnesota

Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

Home to part of the world’s largest private collection of original manuscripts and documents. 

The original Bill of Rights, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, the first printing of the Ten Commandments from the 1455 Gutenberg Bible, the world’s first baseball card, and Richard Wagner’s “Wedding March,” all original, are all part of the same impressive archive, the world’s largest private collection of original manuscripts and documents.

Divvied up among 11 locations in the U.S., the Karpeles Manuscript Library boasts original copies of some of the most important papers from history. It was founded in 1983 by California real estate moguls David and Marsha Karpeles, and is now displayed in museums in various American cities.

The location in Duluth, Minnesota, was originally a First Church of Christ, Scientist. The church’s organ, built by the Hall Organ Company the same year as the building in 1912 remains in the building’s 50-foot rotunda, where they hold concerts and other events. Among Duluth’s permanent collections are Egyptian sandstone carvings and ship models. Exhibits in the past have included Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics and Samuel Morse’s sketches for the telegraph. Each of the museums rotates documents every few months.

Know Before You Go

Admission is free.