News & Notes

200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Posted in Special Collections
Detail of wood engraving by Barry Moser from the Pennyroyal illustrated edition of Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, 1983.

Detail of wood engraving by Barry Moser from the Pennyroyal illustrated edition of Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, 1983.

Whether you are a horror fan or not, there is no denying the pervasive cultural impact of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  Many consider it to be the first true work of science fiction and the beginning of a new genre in literature and art.  This year marks the 200th anniversary of that dark and stormy night in Geneva when Mary Shelley first imagined “the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life…”  The novel that evolved from her first initial “waking dream” would go on to captivate and terrify readers for generations.

In the spirit of Halloween and all things that go bump in the night, and in celebration of imagination and what creatives make of it, we commemorate Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus.  For all its subsequent interpretations in the form of plays, films, novels, art works and comic books, its bicentennial birthday beckons us to revisit the original story, where the Frankenstein phenomena began.

Cover image of Frankenstein, a published collection of scene by scene film stills with full script dialog from James Whale’s 1931 film classic.

Cover image of Frankenstein, a published collection of scene by scene film stills with full script dialog from James Whale’s 1931 film classic.

The year 2016 also marks the 85th anniversary of James Whale’s 1931 film Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff as the “Monster”.  This may not be the first film or dramatization of Frankenstein, but arguably it is the most iconic and certainly the most beloved.

Below are a few select holdings from LSU Libraries that are sure to satisfy any Frankenstein craving.  Click each link for the respective catalog record.

ILLUSTRATED EDITIONS:
Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus [illustrated by Nino Carbe]

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus [illustrated by Lynd Ward]

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus [illustrated by Everett Henry]

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus [illustrated by Barry Moser]

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus [illustrated by Berni Wrightson]

The annotated Frankenstein [illustrated with maps, drawings and photographs]

Two-page spread illustration by Berni Wrightson of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, 1983.

Two-page spread illustration by Berni Wrightson of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, 1983.

A digitized selection of Frankenstein illustrations from the titles listed above may be found here.

 

ONLINE FULL TEXT:
Frankenstein [electronic resource], 1891 edition

Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus [electronic resource], 1818 edition

 

FRANKENSTEIN CATALOGS:
The Frankenstein catalog

The Frankenstein legend: a tribute to Mary Shelley and Boris Karloff

 

FRANKENSTEIN IN FILM:
MagicImage Filmbooks presents Frankenstein [full script and commentary]

MagicImage Filmbooks presents Bride of Frankenstein [full script and commentary]

MagicImage Filmbooks presents Son of Frankenstein [full script and commentary]

Frankenstein [entire 1931 film in screen shots with dialog]

 

Additional Frankenstein and Mary Shelley related titles housed at Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library are collected under the Frankenstein 200th Anniversary activity within our Aeon Request System. Inquires about these titles may be directed to staff in the Reading Room.

 

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And while we are in the subject of Halloween, …

be sure to join us for games, prizes, pizza and Trick or Treats at LSU Libraries FrankenFaire.  Our 4th annual Open House will take place on Wednesday, October 26, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is a Halloween-themed event and all LSU students are invited to attend. Information stations will be set up throughout Middleton Library to showcase the services and resources LSU Libraries provides to the LSU community.

 

Jennifer Mitchell is the Head of Archival Processing in the Special Collections department of the LSU Libraries.

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