The Karpeles Library is the world's largest private holding of important original manuscript documents. The archives include Literature, Science, Religion, Political History, and Art.
Among the treasures is The original draft of the Bill of Rights of the United States, The original manuscript of the sheet music for The Wedding March, Einstein's famous formula "E=Mc2", The Thanksgiving Proclamation signed by George Hanson (first President under the Articles of Confederation), Roget's Thesaurus, Webster's Dictionary, and over one million more.
The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Rock Island is located in what was once a Christian Science church. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and was designed by architect William C. Jones of Chicago in the Palladian style. Its exterior walls are of brick covered by Bedford limestone. Its superimposed front portico is supported by six 2 story columns. Its dome consists of 2 domes: an outer dome and an inner dome which are separated by a space for lighting fixtures. The inner dome consists of some 8,000 colored fish scale glass panes on a wooden support structure.