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Ring in the new year with Frankenstein

Cartoon of frankenstein's monster blowing a horn with a party hat
Indiana Humanities Quantum Leap Logo with Frankenstein Monster Icon
Cartoon penguin with bolts reading the Penguin Books edition of Frankenstein

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus celebrates 200 years since it was first published on January 1, 1818.

Jasper County Public Libraries are excited to join ranks with Indiana Humanities and the Indiana State Library in celebrating this archetypal novel in this landmark year.

Frankenstein is surprisingly relevant today. It has remained popular throughout the years due in part to the interesting look at what makes a human human, and its foray into scientific experimentation and medical ethics.

This classic tale has been chosen as an ambitious statewide read called One State / One Story.

A goal for One State / One Story, part of the Indiana Humanities Quantum Leap initiative, is to spark conversations about the role of science and technology in our lives

Throughout the year, all three of our libraries will hold book discussions on Frankenstein, so keep an eye out for that opportunity at your local library.

Indiana Humanities also has a wide array of programs and opportunities to explore at

Here are a few events you may want to check out:

  • Two special exhibits, one at IU’s Lilly Library in Bloomington and one at Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library in South Bend, will feature first edition copies of Frankenstein. Only 500 copies were printed in the first run, so to have two (that we know of!) in Indiana, both on display next year, is an incredible opportunity you don’t want to miss!
    The Hesburgh collection also includes the first illustrated version from 1831 and the first movie-tie in version from 1931, while the Lilly edition is complemented by other rare books from the history of science and the history of women in science.
  • Lake County Public Library’s Merriville Branch will be hosting a “Synthetic Humans” series, using Frankenstein as the jumping off point to learn and discuss advances in robotics, artificial intelligence and biomedical engineering.
  • Next fall Indiana Humanities will host the first-ever Indiana Sci-Fi & Horror Writers Festival, exploring the two genres that trace their origins to Frankenstein. This teen-focused event also celebrates the fact that Shelley was a teenager when she wrote the novel.
  • Indiana activities will be connected to other celebrations and initiatives happening worldwide. Indiana Humanities is sharing ideas with the folks behind Frankenreads, an initiative designed by the Keats-Shelley Association of America. Their big goal is to get libraries and book lovers around the world to host Frankenstein read-a-thons next Halloween.
  • You may also enjoy playing this alternate reality game developed by the Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination, funded by the National Science Foundation. Some Franken-games may also make an appearance at Indianapolis-based Gen Con 2018 in August.
    Gen Con, which celebrated 50 years in 2017, is the “original, longest-running, best-attended, gaming convention in the world.” With thousands of events, a costume contest, film festival, anime, Authors' Avenue, art show, and more, Gen Con Indy is described as “the best four days in gaming.”

Stay on top of all things Frankenstein by subscribing to monthly FrankenNews via the Indiana Humanities e-newsletter.

One State / One Story: Frankenstein is made possible by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Images: The Quantum Leap One State One Read Logo. Find Frankenstein-related items at your libraries in 2018.