New Frankenstein Exhibit at Tarver Library


MACON – Frankenstein has arrived at Mercer University this fall – just in time for Halloween! Mercer is hosting a traveling exhibit at the Jack Tarver Library called “Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature,” through Nov. 23. The exhibit features artwork and memorabilia associated with Mary Shelley’s monster, and special events will include a film festival, reading groups, literary and bioethics panel discussions, and a Halloween gala. All events are free and open to the public.

“We are so excited to have been selected to host the fabulous Frankenstein exhibit this fall,” said Elizabeth D. Hammond, Mercer’s Dean of University Libraries. “We believe the array of events we planned demonstrates our desire to share the many facets of the Frankenstein story with the entire Middle Georgia community.  I hope everyone will come see the exhibit at Jack Tarver Library and participate in the other activities related to it.”

The traveling exhibit was developed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) in collaboration with the American Library Association. Funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Library of Medicine. The exhibit and related activities in Macon are presented by the Jack Tarver Library, the Mercer University School of Medicine Medical Library & Peyton T. Anderson Learning Resources Center and the Health Resource Center of the Medical Center of Central Georgia. Events are sponsored in part by the NEH Endowment of the College of Liberal Arts of Mercer University. Roxanne Nelson, assistant director for Public Services at the Mercer Medical Library, was working at the NLM in October of 1997 when the original exhibit was produced.

“The opening reception for the Frankenstein exhibit at NLM was an amazing experience,” she said. “It was quite a party! This proved to be one of the most popular exhibits ever mounted at NLM. I’m sure that’s the reason they made the decision to offer the traveling exhibit to libraries around the country.”

“Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature” starts with an examination of the literary origin of the Frankenstein story, including Mary Shelley’s background and the state of medical science in the nineteenth century. The exhibit also includes later interpretations and adaptations of the story on stage, film and in popular culture. It examines how the Frankenstein legend continues to be relevant to current issues and concerns in scientific, medical and technological research and development.

The exhibit will be on display in the Jack Tarver Library at Mercer University from Oct. 17 to Nov. 23. The exhibit will open on Oct. 17, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., with a presentation by Dr. Patrick Allitt, professor, Emory University. On Oct. 26 from 7 to 9 p.m., there will be a panel discussion at the School of Medicine Auditorium entitled “Bioethics and Frankenstein.” On Oct. 31 from 4 to 8 p.m. there will be a Halloween Gala at the Jack Tarver Library and on Nov. 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. there will be a literary panel in the Religious Life Center Auditorium. There are also a number of related events, book groups and a 6-week film festival that run in conjunction with the exhibit. For more information on the exhibit and a complete schedule of events, contact the Tarver Library at (478) 301-2960, or visit the Web site at

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the NEH

About Mercer University:

Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as three regional academic centers. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. For 16 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South.