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Karpeles Museum Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Karpeles Museum in Rock Island

A museum in the Quad Cities that exhibits original documents and letters will celebrate its 10th anniversary this weekend.

Co-Director Margie Cain says the Karpeles Museum in Rock Island is one of ten across the country showing documents from the Karpeles family which owns the largest private collection of documents in the world. It now numbers more than one million.

the Karpeles Museum in Rock Island, at 700 22nd Street
Karpeles Museum
the Karpeles Museum in Rock Island, at 700 22nd Street

She thinks a recent visit by some 5th and 6th graders, studying famous women in America, shows the value of seeing original documents, and not just reading about them.

"They got so excited. And to just see their faces light up when they saw a letter from Rosa Parks - calling for all the other kids, 'hey look here.' It was kind of a moment for me that just kind of impressed on me this is why we do this."

Looking back over ten years, Cain thinks the most popular exhibit featured bibles.

"Because there were quite a few pages from a Gutenberg Bible, as well as some from one of the very first King James bibles. There was even something from an Egyptian, some of their early writings and their book of the dead."

The current exhibit features documents related to the history of the state of Texas, from as far back as the early 1800's, including letters from Sam Houston.

The 10th anniversary celebration for the Karpeles Museum in Rock Island (700 22nd st.) will be held Saturday night from 6 to 9 pm.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.
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