Tompkins County Public Library

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Frankenstein Home Page

Penetrating the
Secrets of Nature


The following information is provided by the American Library Association.
National Library of Medicine web site for the original "Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature" exhibition in 1997-1998.

About Mary Shelley and Frankenstein

Two addresses for the same site which provides information on Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, especially material that might not be readily available or accessible in every library; and offers a chronology of Mary Shelley's life and work and 19th-century reviews of her novels and of the plays inspired by Frankenstein.
Features resources for studying Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Mary Shelley herself, including works by William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and others.

Two sites which feature the complete text of Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
Full script of the play, "Presumption; or, The Fate of Frankenstein," which in 1823 had already removed characters from the book and portrayed the monster as a speechless murderer.
Features the many literary works and authors referred to in Frankenstein, where they appear in the text, and information about them.
This site illustrates "Frankenstein: Mary Shelley's Dream," a permanent exhibit of The Bakken Library and Museum in Minneapolis, Minn. Interesting visuals of 18th century laboratory apparatus. Suitable for middle grades and up.

About the history of medicine
Site of the National Library of Medicine, History of Medicine Division, detailing one of the world's great History of Medicine collections.
Explores the Duke University History of Medicine Collections, which include photographs, illustrations, monographs and manuscripts, many of which are illustrated on the site.

About literature of the Romantic period
Romantic Circles is a large-scale, collaborative site of high editorial quality devoted to the study of Lord Byron, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, their contemporaries and historical contexts.

About biomedical research
Features a web cast of a panel of University specialists discussing in plain English for nonscientists the medical, ethical and legal implications of the Human Genome Project.
Site for the Human Genome Project public education and discussion pilot program in ten public libraries in the North Suburban Library System in the greater Chicago area. Participating libraries develop an education program on genetic research and the Human Genome Project.
A science primer from the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

About ethics and philosophy
Explores the ethical, legal and social issues surrounding the Human Genome Project.

Curriculum materials for schools
Grades 9-12: In-depth study of the book and issues it raises. Activities include a mock trial in which the monster sues his creator, discussion questions, related reading, web links.
Grades K-8: Site of the Miami Museum of Science Learning Network with a section on "Frankenstein's Lightning Laboratory," where simple experiments describe different forms of electricity-"fruity" and "static"-as well as teach electrical safety.
Grades 10-12: "Tales of the Supernatural" focuses on horror and the Gothic form in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Students read and discuss Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as part of the curriculum unit, as well as works of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Lesson can be extended to modern-day tales of the supernatural.

Miscellaneous related sites
Picture stills from the Edison Films 1910 Frankenstein film
Illustrates and reviews the Marvel comics series, "The Frankenstein Monster," which ran from January 1973 to September 1975.



Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature was developed by the National Library of Medicine in collaboration with the American Library Association.

It has been made possible by major grants from The National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, D.C., and the National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Md. The traveling exhibition is based upon a major exhibition produced by the National Library of Medicine in 1997-1998.

American Library Association National Endowment for the Humanities National Library of Medicine

Local program support has been generously provided by Cornell University, M&T Bank, and Borders Bookstore.

Cornell University Logo M & T Bank Logo Borders Bookstore Logo

We have also benefited from many local partnerships with community groups including the members of the Discovery Trail.

Frankenstein image from:

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Last Revised September 7, 2002