Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Frankenstein with Monstrous Primary Sources and Frankenreads!

Did you know that it’s been 200 years since Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote the classic horror novel Frankenstein? The Library of Congress is home to many monstrously intriguing primary sources related to the book and its descendants, and will be celebrating Frankenstein with a variety of events, including a live reading of the novel from 9 a.m.- 7:20 p.m. ET on October 31 in the Library’s Main Reading Room. You can watch a live stream of the reading on the Library’s YouTube channel.

Mary Wollstonecraft. James Heath and John Opie

Before listening to our reading of Frankenstein or otherwise exploring the legacy of this chilling tale, examine some Frankenstein-related primary sources.

Watch a film version of Frankenstein by Thomas Edison. Consider how it is similar to and different from the Mary Shelley novel and other versions of the movie you may have seen. Why do you think Edison made these changes?

Read a summary of Frankenstein from the Washington Times newspaper from June 17, 1913. The book had been out for nearly 100 years. Why do you think the newspaper decided to publish a summary? Compare this summary to the one provided by the Hattiesburg News from June 6, 1908. How are they similar and different? If you were giving someone a summary of the book, which would you share and why?

How will you celebrate the anniversary of Frankenstein with your students? Tell us in the comments.


Five Questions with Megan Metcalf, Reference Librarian, Research and Reference Services, Main Reading Room

I am a Reference Librarian in the Main Reading Room and the Women’s, Gender, and LGBTQ+ Studies Collection Specialist and Recommending Officer for the Library. In all aspects of my work, I facilitate access to Library collections and services