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Richard Minor - Director

A Previous Exhibit
(in addition to the manuscripts)
at the Karpeles:

(Photo by Ivy Bigbee)



The Jacksonville Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum’s primary mission is the preservation and educational presentation of the writings of great authors, scientists, composers, philosophers, statesmen, sovereigns, and leaders, from all periods in world history. The Museum strives to promote education and literacy within Jacksonville, with an emphasis on the under-served neighborhoods and constituents. The Jacksonville Karpeles is one of nine Karpeles Museums around the country and Museum founders, David and Marsha Karpeles, are committed to providing each of these communities free access to original manuscript exhibits.

Through community partnerships and in association with local schools and libraries, the Museum is able to impact a diverse audience of children with special programs. Via our Mini-Museum outreach program, The Jacksonville Karpeles strives to promote history and literacy in libraries and schools throughout our city and region, including the twelve public schools in the Mayor's Intensive Care Neighborhoods. Young children are specifically targeted with special programs in history and art, including an exciting and innovative new educational outreach program created to teach literacy and government theory to Kindergartners! This program features special historical sketches and accompanying narrative scripts which were originally produced by the Educational Division of the Disney Company, specifically for children. Brought to life for the first time by the Jacksonville Karpeles, this program has with such enthusiastic audience response and media attention that it has recently been expanded nationwide.

The Jacksonville Karpeles continuously aims to be a vital part of the arts and culture expansion of Jacksonville and to be a significant contributor to downtown Jacksonville/Springfield re-growth and investiture. Dedicated to community partnering, The Jacksonville Karpeles offers its historic 1921 Neo-Classical building as an exhibition venue for both emerging and established regional artists, and for special community events, such as the James Weldon Johnson Festival.

Our primary mission and other goals are frequently reviewed by our National Board and our Jacksonville Community Advisory Board.


Chronological listing of the major accomplishments at the Karpeles in Jacksonville.


Year 2005

In partnership with Motherland Productions, presented "Juneteenth", a celebration in recognition of the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in Texas.

The Mini Museum program experienced significant growth with 25 new exhibits added.

Early elementary age audience increased with a surge in local school and youth group field-trip visits.

Partnered with Florida Community College in Jacksonville to plan a docent training program and local history tour showcasing local communities.

Received recognition from Jacksonville Youth Sanctuary for providing a Christmas celebration for local foster children and their families.

Year 2004

The "Goofy" Literacy and Government Theory Program for Kindergarten students premiered with spectacular results. The program was soon expanded nationwide.

Mini-Museum program reached a record number 50 schools, simultaneously.

The Museum and Nocturnal Escape presented "Soul Kollage: an art extravaganza introducing African-American artists in presentation with music, poetry, art, and dance".

Children’s Literacy Book Club is launched, with advertising sponsored by the Jacksonville Public Libraries.

Participated in Downtown’s Art Walk, sponsored by Suddath and Downtown Vision. In conjunction with the Art Walk, the Museum presents Terri Cavoli’s "Kids in America" in June, and Harvey and Kelli Bickman’s "Acrylic Heaven" in July.

Year 2003

Mini-Museum program audience increased to over 86,000 people.

Presented "Forever in our Hearts", a series of black & white photographs by African-American artist, Aaron Mervin.

Year 2002

Premiered world renowned exhibit "Missing: Last Seen at the World Trade Center", featuring flyers created by friends and family of those lost on September 11, 2001. This toured worldwide, and is now on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institute.

Voted Best in five categories of "Best for Families 2002" poll by North Florida Magazine.

Year 2000

Launch of Phase One of When I Grow Up, a creative, career-related play facility located in our ground-floor level.

Hosted 45 inner-city children in Urban Ministries of Springfield's eight week summer day camp, ground-floor level, sponsored in part by The Children_s Commission.

Named as one of Jacksonville's Top 25 Family Friendly Companies by Jacksonville Magazine, the smallest company ever to win this honor.

Nominated for Best Museum for Children and Best Children's Theater, North Florida Families Magazine.

James Weldon Johnson Festival, Recital, What Does "Lift Every Voice and Sing" Mean To Me? (featuring performers from age 2 to 50) and VIP Reception at Karpeles prior to Johnson's induction into Florida Artist's Hall of Fame, June 16-17, 2000.

Year 1999

A nationally-touring photography exhibition about the Civil War, Lydia Parker's Hands on Time, organized by and premiered at Jacksonville Karpeles, in advance of venues at the other six Karpeles Library Museums.

Karpeles Museum aligns itself with the Alliance for World Class Education and is designated as an official JaxReads reading zone.

Governor Lawton Chiles' presents "Heartland Award," highest gubernatorial honor bestowed upon citizens of Florida, to Karpeles Community Advisory Board member, Stetson Kennedy, for promoting cultural awareness and human rights lifelong.


The Karpeles' Mini-Museum Program grows 37%, adding ten new exhibits at public schools, bringing the total number of mini-museums to 40 locally and impacting an additional estimated 8,100 Jacksonville students, bringing total impacted to 47,640.


Antiquarian Book Library opens to the public, providing "hands-on" reading and research experience in rare, historic volumes.


Received Mayoral Proclamation for exhibiting Karpeles Mini-Museums in all twelve schools located within the

Mayor's Intensive Care Neighborhoods and for outstanding work with educators in those districts.

Hosted nationally-recognized photographer Ivy Bigbee's Faith's Foundations: Images of Religious Diversity, commissioned by the National Conference for Christians and Jews.


Recognized for contributions with honors from the American Manuscript Society and the Rotary Club.

A Gentle Madness, a book about museums, includes The Karpeles Manuscript Museums.


Impacted over 6,600 people in one month, over half of which were school-age children, during a collaboration with the Jewish Community Alliance related to the Anne Frank in the World exhibition at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.