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Karpeles Manuscript Library

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Address: 21 West Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3107
Phone Number:
+1 805-962-5322

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 14 reviews
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    Very good
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Great museum, library, and performance space

Wonderful venue for presenting public events. If you don't charge admission they don't charge you to use the space! We had over 80 people attend our event last night which was a... read more

Reviewed 15 January 2017
Santa Barbara, California
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14 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 13: English reviews
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
134 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2017

Wonderful venue for presenting public events. If you don't charge admission they don't charge you to use the space! We had over 80 people attend our event last night which was a staged reading of original plays. The document collection itself is very interesting, the displays are clearly marked and well displayed and the staff is wonderful. And IT's FREE!

Thank DrStuo
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
71 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2016

A visit to this museum provides information on manuscripts collected and exhibited in a small intimate space.

Thank Anabel-2013
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
89 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 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 

Thank IdeasAndOpinions
Santa Barbara
Level Contributor
127 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
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?

Thank Jiminsb
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
89 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 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 

1 Thank Sam M
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 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 

Thank IreneDJ2
Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
36 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
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 

Thank dugyb
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 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 

4 Thank Loveworldtravel
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Level Contributor
73 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
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 

Thank lestroyens
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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.

Thank NJ J

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