Eighty-two libraries nationwide to host Frankenstein traveling exhibition

Contact: Laura Hayes



For Immediate Release

May 21, 2002

Eighty-two libraries nationwide to host Frankenstein traveling exhibition

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and National Library of Medicine (NLM) have named 82 public, academic and medical libraries across the country as sites for the "Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature" exhibit tour. The exhibit examines Mary Shelley's classic novel, "Frankenstein," and its evolution in literature, popular culture and scientific research since its publication in 1818.

"Frankenstein" is based on a larger exhibit of the same name, which was created by the NLM and displayed from 1997 to 1998 at the NLM in Bethesda, Md. The traveling exhibit maintains many of the larger exhibition's themes, including examining the transformation of the monster from Shelley's rational and articulate creature, who is curious about the world and seeks human relationships, to the speechless murderer of later plays and films based on the book. A major theme of the exhibit is how the "Frankenstein" story has been used as a framework to express society's fears about the consequences of scientific advances, such as cloning, which challenges our traditional understanding of what it means to be human.

The libraries selected for the tour will host the exhibit for a six-week period between October 2002 and December 2005. Libraries will make the exhibit available for public viewing and host a number of educational programs and receptions to increase the public's understanding and study of the exhibit and its themes. All showings of the exhibition and related programs will be free and open to the public.

"Selection for this tour was extremely competitive," said Susan Brandehoff, program director for traveling exhibitions and broadcast media in the ALA Public Program Office. "Many of the 150 applications contained wonderful program ideas and several letters of support. All of the selected libraries have exciting programs planned, including weekly panel discussions, special events and more."

The libraries selected for the tour are (in alphabetical order by state):

  • Lister Hill Library of Health Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Ala.
  • Arizona Health Sciences Library, Tucson, Ariz.
  • Phoenix Public Library, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock, Ark.
  • Allan Hancock College Learning Resources Center, Santa Maria, Calif.
  • Torrance Public Library, Torrance, Calif.
  • University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Library, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Ventura College Library, Ventura, Calif.
  • Boulder Public Library, Boulder, Colo. and Lafayette Public Library, Lafayette, Colo.
  • J. Eugene Smith Library, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, Conn.
  • duPont-Ball Library, Stetson University, Deland, Fla.
  • Putnam County Library System, Palatka, Fla.
  • University of Central Florida Library, Orlando, Fla.
  • Athens Clarke County Library, Athens, Ga.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology Library and Information Center, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Jack Tarver and Medical Libraries, Mercer University, and Health Resources Center, Medical Library of Central Georgia, Macon, Ga.
  • Booth Library of Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Ill.
  • Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago, Ill.
  • Ela Area Library District, Lake Zurich, Ill.
  • Henry Pfeiffer Library, MacMurray College, Jacksonville, Ill. in consortium with Libraries of Jacksonville in Cooperation (LOJIC), Jacksonville, Ill.
  • Robert E. Turner Library/Learning Resources Center, Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Ill.
  • Rockford Public Library, Rockford, Ill.
  • Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Greenwood Public Library, Greenwood, Ind.
  • Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) Library, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Ames Public Library, Ames, Iowa
  • Cedar Rapids Public Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Hale Library, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.
  • Winfield Public Library, Winfield, Kan.
  • Western Kentucky University Library, Bowling Green, Ky.
  • East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Baton Rouge, La.
  • Lafayette Public Library, Lafayette, La.
  • Portland Public Library, Portland, Maine
  • Cecil County Public Library, Elkton, Md.
  • Worcester Public Library, Worcester, Mass.
  • Bruce T. Hale Library, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Mich.
  • Clinton-Macomb Public Library, Clinton Township, Mich.
  • Duluth Public Library, Duluth, Minn.
  • Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Mo.
  • St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Missoula Public Library, Missoula, Mont.
  • Keene Public Library, Keene, N.H.
  • Jersey City Free Public Library, Jersey City, N.J.
  • Ocean County College Library, Toms River, N.J.
  • Wolverton Library, Camden County College, Blackwood, N.J.
  • Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo, N.Y.
  • The City College Library, New York City, N.Y.
  • Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, N.Y.
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University, Health Sciences Library, Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Tompkins County Public Library, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • University at Albany Libraries, State University of New York, Albany, N.Y.
  • Gaston County Public Library, Gastonia, N.C.
  • Community Library, Sunbury, Ohio
  • Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma Regional Library Branch, Parma, Ohio
  • Prior Health Sciences Library, Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio
  • Multnomah County Public Library, Portland, Ore.
  • Salem Public Library, Salem, Ore.
  • Hagerty Library, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Musselman Library, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pa.
  • Richland County Public Library, Columbia, S.C.
  • Brookings Public Library, Brookings, S.D.
  • Johnson City Public Library, Johnson City, Tenn.
  • Memphis/Shelby County Public Library & Information Center, Memphis, Tenn.
  • Baylor University Libraries, Waco, Texas
  • Coates Library, Trinity University, and University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
  • Houston Public Library, Central Library, and Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library, Houston, Texas
  • Plano Public Library System, Plano, Texas
  • Sterling C. Evans Library, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  • University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas
  • Brigham City Library, Brigham City, Utah
  • Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Utah Valley State College Library, Orem, Utah
  • Loudoun County Public Library, Leesburg, Va.
  • Swem Library, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.
  • Tacoma Public Library, Tacoma, Wash.
  • University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, Wash.
  • Cabell County Public Library, Huntington, W.Va.
  • Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, Wis.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Library, Madison, Wis.
  • Hay Library, Western Wyoming Community College, Rock Springs, Wyo.
  • Laramie County Library System, Cheyenne, Wyo.

"Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature" is organized by the NLM and ALA Public Programs Office with major grants from the NEH and NLM.

The ALA Public Programs Office fosters cultural programming by libraries of all types. Established in 1990, the office helps thousands of libraries nationwide develop and host programs that encourage dialogue among community members and works to establish libraries as cultural centers in their communities.

For more information about "Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature," please visit