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Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature

In a traveling exhibition and companion website, the National Library of Medicine explores the power of the novel Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus to expose hidden fears of science and technology as human efforts to penetrate the secrets of nature continue.

Ranger, Texas, January 27, 2024 – A traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine, “Frankenstein:  Penetrating the Secrets of Nature,” will be available from February 26 through April 6, 2024.  La exposición Frankenstein: Penetrando en los secretos de la naturale también estará disponible en Español.

In 1816, Mary Shelley conceived a story about a scientist who creates a creature that can think and feel, but is monstrous to the eye.  Spurned by all, the embittered creature turns into a savage killer.  Shelley’s story served as a metaphor for apprehensions about scientific advancement that continue to resonate today.

Topics covered in the exhibit include the stories of Mary Shelley and Luisi Galvani, a professor of anatomy at the University of Bologna, who performed an extensive series of experiments in animal electricity, or galvanism, to reanimate dead tissue in the 1780s and 1790s.  It also looks at human dissection and the advancement of medical knowledge in the early 19th century.  Finally, it explores the role of Frankenstein in popular media, from Thomas Potter Cooke’s role as the monster in 1823’s Presumption to the more modern Boris Karloff film version that has given us our collective image of what Frankenstein looks like.

Golemon Library is at 1100 College Circle, Ranger Texas.  The exhibition will be available at no charge to the public from February 26 through April 6.  The display will be available during all regular library hours:  Monday – Thursday 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM, Friday 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and Sunday 4:30 PM to 9:30 PM.  We will be closed March 10 – 16 for spring break.  For more information or to arrange group visits, contact Helen Cozart, Assistant Librarian, at 254-267-7022 or or visit our webpage.  Admission is always free. 

To get to Ranger College, take Interstate 20 Exit 349 (at the Love’s currently under construction).   Head North one mile.  Ranger College is on the right.  Golemon Library is halfway around the loop.


The National Library of Medicine produced this exhibition and companion website. 

This exhibit is funded by Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

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