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NLM Launches “Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature,” a New Traveling Exhibition

The National Library of Medicine announces the launch of a new traveling exhibition and an online adaptation of Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature.

Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature logo

In 1816, Mary Shelley conceived a story that would pose profound questions about individual and societal responsibility for others, and serve as a metaphor for apprehensions about scientific advancement. Victor Frankenstein, a scientist obsessed with creating life, succeeds in his endeavor. But while Frankenstein's creature can think and feel, he is monstrous to the eye. Spurned by all, the embittered creature turns into a savage killer. Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature explores the power of the Frankenstein story to expose hidden fears of science and technology—both in the original novel and shaped into new forms, such as plays, films, and comics. Captivating audiences for 200 years, as scientists have gained new knowledge, the Frankenstein story remains like a warning beacon, throwing its unsettling beam upon human efforts to penetrate the secrets of nature.

The online exhibition features resources for educators and students, including lesson plans developed by classroom teachers for middle and high school classes, and a higher education module developed by scholars for undergraduate and graduate students and instructors.

The traveling banner exhibition is available for booking now. Please visit traveling exhibition services for more information about Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature


Portrait of Mary Shelley, ca. 1851-1893
Portrait of Mary Shelley, ca. 1851-1893

Courtesy The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Illustration from Essai Théorique et Expérimentale sur le
Galvanisme, tome premier (Theoretical and Practical Essay on Galvanism, first volume), 1804 Author: Giovanni Aldini (1762–1834)
Illustration from Essai Théorique et Expérimentale sur le Galvanisme, tome premier (Theoretical and Practical Essay on Galvanism, first volume), 1804
Author: Giovanni Aldini (1762–1834)

Courtesy National Library of Medicine

 


 

Illustration from De humani corporis fabrica libri decem
Galvanisme, tome premier (On the fabric of the human body), 1627
Illustration from De humani corporis fabrica libri decem Galvanisme, tome premier (On the fabric of the human body), 1627
Author: Giovanni Aldini (1762–1834)

Courtesy National Library of Medicine

Portrait of Mary Shelley, ca. 1851-1893

Aliéné en démence from Des maladies mentales considérées sous les rapports médicale, hygiénique ed médico-légal (Demented lunatic from Medical illnesses as considered in medical, hygienic, and medico-legal perspectives), 1838

Courtesy National Library of Medicine