5 Must-Visit Museums for Literature Lovers

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Updated on 15 May 2015

May 18 is International Museum Day. Some of the world’s greatest treasures and most valuable art are housed in museums, but you can also find smaller museums that cater to nearly every taste and interest. Here are five museums literature lovers might want to visit:

Monroe County Museum in Alabama

Located just down the street from the childhood home of Harper Lee, the author of the famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the Monroe County Museum is the home of the famous courtroom in which part of the novel was set. The museum offers school field trip tours and teacher workshops about the history and context of the novel. It is also open to the public.

The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe in Virginia

Take a spooky trip to the Museum of Edgar Allan Poe, which features some of the writer’s letters and personal items, as well as first editions of some of his works. If you’re a real Poe fan, you can even book your wedding at the museum and, as the website says, “live happily evermore.”

Matchstick Marvels Tourist Center in Iowa

This quirky museum features models of famous buildings, modes of transportation, and more made out of (you guessed it) matchsticks! Matchstick Marvels features something special for literary fans: a model of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling made from 600,000 matchsticks. You’ll have to see it to believe it.

The National Steinbeck Center in California

Fans of The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden will love the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California. In addition to housing archives of the author’s work, the museum also provides information about American agricultural workers, around whose experiences many of Steinbeck’s novels are centered.

The Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site and Interpretive Center

You know you’ve really made it when your childhood home is declared a historic site. The poet Walt Whitman’s home is now a hot spot on the map and is dedicated to literacy and writing. The Center hosts writing workshops, poetry readings, and informational tours.

Do lovers of the written word flock to a museum in your state or country? Share the details in the comments!

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