Frankenstein & Dracula: Gothic Monsters, Modern Science

The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia



From neuroscience and blood transfusions to hypnotism and phonograph recordings, Stoker’s Dracula is as much a chronicle of scientific, medical, and technological advances as it is the tale of the monster that threatens it all. Courtesy of The Rosenbach.


Title page of the first English edition of Frankenstein, 1818. Courtesy of The Rosenbach.


Bram Stoker (1847-1912), notes and outlines for Dracula (multiple pages), ca. 1890-96, pencil, pen, and ink on paper. Courtesy of The Rosenbach.


Title page of the first English edition of Frankenstein, 1818, displayed alongside the first English edition of Dracula, 1897. Courtesy of The Rosenbach.

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein, the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia will present *Frankenstein & Dracula: Gothic Monsters, Modern Science*, an exhibition highlighting Mary Shelley's 1818 novel and Bram Stoker's *Dracula*—two seminal Gothic works that probe the intersection of scientific literature and social anxieties. The exhibition will include manuscripts from Oxford University's Bodleian Library and from one of the Rosenbach's best-known collections—notes Bram Stoker made while writing *Dracula*—as well as cross-disciplinary materials from the American Philosophical Society, Chemical Heritage Foundation, College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and the Free Library of Philadelphia. Combined with on-site symposia and workshops, the exhibition will ask questions that connect these historic materials to modern life, such as: What are society's responsibilities to the scientific discovery or creation of new life? When and how do we decide to create or destroy a "monster?" An interactive portal to the Frankenstein Digital Museum—an international project documenting the continuing influence of *Frankenstein*—will reveal the novel's appropriation during times of apprehension prompted by scientific advancements.
*Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.*