Discover the Karpeles Manuscript Library Collection

Karpeles Manuscript Library holds the world’s largest collection of original historical manuscripts from all periods in world history.

The collection of more than a million historical documents in the categories of literature, science, religion, political history, exploration, music and art rotates between all its museums across the United States. In addition, reproductions can be found in its mobile exhibits in schools, libraries and private businesses. 

Here are some examples of manuscripts that can be found in our expansive collection.

Click on the image to see the full size manuscript.

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
One of only 14 original pages that have survived
Roget’s Thesaurus of synonyms or verbal equivalents
First draft written in 1805
America The Beautiful
Poem by Katherine Lee Bates written in 1893


Einstein's Equation: E=MC2
A rare instance where he actually wrote out his famous formula
Darwin's Reasoning establishing his Theory of Evolution
as stated in the Origin of Species
Galileo’s 1638 letter announcing his Dialog on Two New Sciences
The birth of mechanics as a science and of mathematical analysis


The Ten Commandments of The Gutenberg Bible
Considered the most precious piece of printing in the world
The proposed terms of the Martin Luther Treaty offered to Emperor Charles V
The birth of the Protestant movement

Political History

The excommunication of Napoleon by Pope Pius VII
Issued after the French attacked and occupied the Vatican
The unconditional surrender of the German Third Reich
Issued to Supreme Allied Commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower
The Peace Treaty of the War of 1812
The ratification of the Treaty of Ghent signed by King George IV on December 31, 1814


A page from the LM Contingency Checklist carried on the flight of Apollo 13
Critical flight data for the Service Module and Lunar Module separation maneuvers
Christopher Columbus’ handwritten “Lettera Rarissima”
Describes his last voyage of discovery to the New World and announces he has reached the Indies
Amelia Earhart’s Certificate of Removal of Sealed Barograph
Proof that she was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic solo and second person ever to fly across the Atlantic

Music & Art

The Emperor Concerto by Beethoven
Draft of the first movement from Measure III up to and including the second theme
The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky
Ushered in a new era of irregular meter and syncopation in music when it was introduced in 1913 in Paris
Star Trek Sketches
A series of sketches from the original creator of Star Trek featuring its main characters