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Karpeles Manuscript Library

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Address: 21 West Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone Number: +1 805-962-5322
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History Buffs, go ahead and drool

Private collection of David Karpeles, a contractor who started collecting historical letters, charts, contracts when they could be had at reasonable prices. Everything from... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 25 July 2016
IdeasAndOpinions
,
Santa Barbara, California
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12 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 11: English reviews
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
63 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 July 2016

Private collection of David Karpeles, a contractor who started collecting historical letters, charts, contracts when they could be had at reasonable prices. Everything from handwritten letters from artists, scientists, politicians, authors, religious figures to paintings and charts dating back to antiquity. No way of predicting what will be on display or what the theme will be. It's in the middle... More 

Helpful?
Thank IdeasAndOpinions
Santa Barbara
Level Contributor
119 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2016

I had high expectations, after hearing that the original manuscripts of many great works were housed at the Karpeles Library, but was disappointed at the displays that seemed to house copies of much of the collection. Perhaps security mandates this approach, but why visit in person what you could look at on-line?

Helpful?
Thank Jiminsb
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
89 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2015

Karpeles Manuscript Library is one of Santa Barbara's hidden gems. Located downtown, it is unobtrusive and easy to miss, only a block away from the much larger and easily recognizable Santa Barbara Museaum of Art. The name "Manuscript Library" sounds incredibly dry and frankly uninteresting, but what resides within is much more than manuscripts. A variety of exhibits come and... More 

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1 Thank Sam M
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2015

My husband and I both enjoyed this find. It has documents varying from Happy Birthday to Mozart to Lincoln to ancient Torah. It has two floors, however, is small so you can go through in an hour or less if desired. If you don't want to spend a long time in a museum, spend a lot of money (no entrance... More 

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Thank IreneDJ2
Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
36 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2014

The current main exhibit is dedicated to "Evita" Peron and includes the few manuscripts that were not destroyed by successive Argentine governments. Mr Karpeles life work is collecting these precious documents for the world to enjoy for FREE in several Karpeles Museums across the US. We have visited both the Tacoma WA and Santa Barbara CA museums and we found... More 

Helpful?
Thank dugyb
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2014

The Karpeles Manuscript Library in Santa Barbara is a hidden gem. Admission is free. My daughters and I have visited many times over the years. One has the opportunity to see original documents, the real deal. There is a section with manuscripts from great music composers as well as from figures in US and world history. There are special exhibits,... More 

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4 Thank Loveworldtravel
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Level Contributor
70 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2014

I should begin by saying that I collect letters written by composers, so I was excited to visit this museum. Besides the manuscripts and letters written by classical composers, the museum offers several items from their collection. When my son and I went, there was an exhibit devoted to the works of Mark Twain. I would recommend this free site... More 

Helpful?
Thank lestroyens
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 December 2013 via mobile

Based on the name many people may not venture inside but trust me, you'll leave there satisfied that you didn't waste your time or money.

Helpful?
Thank NJ J
San Ramon, California
Level Contributor
222 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 October 2013 via mobile

Small, quaint library showcasing manuscripts, artwork, and models. The admission is free and restroom facilities are available. I enjoyed seeing all the manuscripts pertaining to Mark Twain. My hubby enjoyed seeing all the items pertaining to space exploration. Our visit lasted 30 minutes.

Helpful?
Thank LisaandRod93013
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2013

This is a terrific pit stop barely off the beaten path (one block off State Street). If history is your thing - go. There's enough to see but not so much that it's overwhelming. Google the website for the particulars. I breezed through in about 30 minutes and I'm not a "run through this museum asap" type.

Helpful?
1 Thank Jan P

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