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local_offerDon't Miss the Gutenberg Bible - one of only a handful that still survives today


FREE Admission.  During Museum Week, the featured exhibit at the museum will be the Gutenberg Bible. Johann Gutenberg’s Bible is probably the most famous Bible in the world. It is the earliest full-scale work printed in Europe using moveable type.

Gutenberg’s invention allowed the mass production of books for the first time and changed the world. Before Gutenberg, every book (outside of Asia where some printed books had been produced much earlier) had to be copied by hand.

The Gutenberg Bible was printed in Mainz in 1455 by Johann Gutenberg and his associates, Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer. Only 48 copies are known to have survived, of which 12 are printed on vellum and 36 on paper. Twenty are complete, two of them at the British Library, one printed on paper.

In addition, the museum's permanent exhibits feature an Early Communications Room - with documents, antique telephones and telegraphs. There are also 5 amazing wooden, model ships on display accompanied by documents and more.

TOURS:  The museum offers tours through the building and a bit about its history.  


Address: 700 22nd Street, Rock Island, IL.

Phone:  309-788-0806

Website: http://www.rain.org/~karpeles/RIfrm.html

Admission: Free

Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10:30 am -3:30pm; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Monday.

The Karpeles Manuscript Museum provides ever-changing exhibits featuring historical manuscripts and other documents.  Previous exhibits have included the writings, letters, and books of Charles Dickens and Mark Twain. This is the first Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Ilinois. There are 11 of the museums in the country, which together house what is billed as the world’s largest private collection of important manuscripts and documents.

The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum is located in the former Christian Science church, designed by architect William C. Jones of Chicago in the Palladian style, it was built between 1914-1915. Its exterior walls are of brick covered by Bedford limestone. Its superimposed front portico is supported by six 2 story columns. Its dome actually consists of 2 domes: an outer dome and an inner dome which are separated by a space for lighting fixtures and maintenance. The inner dome consists of some 8,000 colored fish scale glass panes on a wooden support structure. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1998.

Tuesday10:30 am - 3:30 pm
Wednesday10:30 am - 3:30 pm
Thursday10:30 am - 3:30 pm
Friday10:30 am - 3:30 pm
Saturday10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday10:00 am - 4:00 pm
location_on700 22nd Street, Rock Island