< Back To Previous Page

Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

  • 407 S G St
  • Tacoma, WA 98405-
  • (253) 383-2575

Dedicated to preservation and display of historic original letters and documents.


Learn history in a novel way – see a page from the first printing of the Guttenberg Bible, a picture of the first baseball pitcher to throw a curve ball, or Napoleon's grand plans for governing! These and other original handwritten drafts, letters and documents of historical significance rotate through the eight Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums in the U.S., including the one near Tacoma's Wright Park.

The unusual Karpeles museums feature a new exhibit every three months, so the “history lesson” is frequently changing. They were founded by David Karpeles, a mathematician, scientist, real-estate investor and inventor, to share his astounding collection – the world's largest private holding – of more than one million important original manuscripts and documents. These cover the subjects of literature, science, religion, history, and art; many were written by some of the world's most famous individuals ranging from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin to Mozart and Handel to Eva Peron and Queen Isabella (commanding Columbus to set sail).

Tacoma's Karpeles Manuscript Museum has shown more than 48 separate exhibits since it opened in 1991. It is non-profit and non-sectarian; admission to all events and exhibits is free to the public.