Great literary museums

Annual book sales across Scandinavia continue to draw literature fans into their favorite bookshops. But if you really want to delve deep into words and the people who make them sing, why not visit a literary museum on your travels?

The Literature Museum, Vienna

Housed in the Austrian National Library, the legendary Franz Kafka, along with Austria’s answer to Shakespeare, Johann Nestroy, join more modern literary stars such as Thomas Bernhard, widely considered one of the greatest writers of the postwar period.

The Literature Museum

Johannesgasse 6, Vienna

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Museum of Literature, The Hague

Portraits, love letters, and manuscripts of more than 6,000 Dutch and Flemish writers can be found in this lavish museum. The unconventional Gallery of Authors collects everyone from the most popular to the most reviled and most forgotten authors.


Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 5, Haag

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American Writers Museum, Chicago

Scheduled to open in 2017, this sprawling ­interactive ­museum will bring together the many varied voices of American literature from F Scott Fitzgerald and Sinclair Lewis to Mark Twain and Dr. Seuss.

American Writers Museum

180 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago

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Edinburgh Writers Museum

While only three writers are ­represented, but what a trio they are! Robert Burns’s writing desk, Robert Louis Stevenson’s riding boots, and Sir Walter Scott’s ­dining table are just a few of the curiosities found among collected works and notebooks.

Edinburgh Writers Museum

Lawnmarket, Lady Stair's Close, Edinburgh

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Dublin Writers Museum

Beckett, Joyce, Yeats, Shaw, Wilde … 300 years of Dublin’s towering literary heritage is all housed in one elegant museum. Personal mementos and letters sit alongside original works, such as a first edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. There’s also one of the city’s best eateries, Chapter One.

Dublin Writers Museum

18 Parnell Square, Dublin

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State Literature Museum, Moscow

More than 700,000 pieces document Russia’s literary history through the ages. From rare signed first editions and personal archives to recordings of writers’ voices, you could spend days marveling at the sheer volume of material available.

State Literature Museum

28 Petrovka Street, Moscow

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