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“Under appreciated”

Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum
Ranked #34 of 82 things to do in Tacoma
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Karpeles museum in Tacoma is one of several branches nationwide that feature extremely rare and important historical documents.
Gig Harbor, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Under appreciated”
Reviewed 8 September 2012

I would venture that less then 10% of long time Tacoma residents even know that this place exists. This is privately funded, so unlike most government supported museums isn't constantly promoting themselves and seeking donations. They don't even ask you to pay an admission to enter. What a concept -- a museum anxious to share their collection with anyone interested. The private collection, the largest in the world, is all historical documents and letters amassed by a private collector. Part is on permanent display, the balance rotates between five other similar museums elsewhere in the country. The quality of the collection is impressive. This is not a hands-on, activity oriented venue. It is a museum in the traditional sense, so would be of limited interest to small children. A visit should take no more then an hour as it is not a huge place. The location is across from Wrights Park making for a nice outing. It has never been busy on my past visits and could qualify as the areas most unknown and under appreciated attractions.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
7 Thank JiminGigHarbor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bellevue, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Who knew...”
Reviewed 11 August 2012

...that this museum, one of six in the US, even existed? Not me, until I visited adjacent Wright Park, looked across the street, and saw an old American Legion building that now houses the Museum. Exhibits change every four months. The current one, ending August 30, is: Arthur Conan Doyle, Houdini and Spiritualism. In their permanent collection is the Japanese flag from the Battle of Okinawa, the flight log from the Enola Gay and much more. Everything you see are original writings. Check out www.karpeles.com. Also, be sure to chat with Tom at the front desk who is a fountain of knowledge about everything as well as the Museum Director. Admission is free, all funded by a multi-millionairewho loves knowledge

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank higham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tacoma,WA
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Interesting”
Reviewed 12 April 2012

I like to visit this museum before or after I go to Seymour Conservatory across the street from it. Because it's a manuscript museum I think it's more interesting to adults than to children. Best of all, it's free!

Visited June 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank BettyTacoma_WA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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