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Second Saturday Exhibition Open House

June 9, 2018, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

The exhibition galleries and the William N. Deramus III Cosmology Theater will be open 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 12. Free admission and parking. Reference, research, and circulation services are not available on Second Saturdays.

About the exhibition:

It’s Alive
Frankenstein at 200: The Science Behind the Story
March 15 – August 31, 2018

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was first published anonymously in January 1818. The novel has become a classic of literature, the inspiration for numerous theatrical productions, and a cautionary tale of scientific hubris that continues to resonate today.  On the 200th anniversary of the novel’s publication, this exhibition explores the scientific influences on Shelley while writing her masterpiece, as well as the novel’s legacy both in the lab and in popular culture.

West Gallery: The Science Behind the Story

Visitors to the west gallery will explore 18th and early 19th century science that influenced Shelley while writing Frankenstein:

  • Electrical experiments of Luigi Galvani, Alessandro Volta, and Giovanni Aldini;
  • The writings of Erasmus Darwin;
  • The 1815 eruption of Mt. Tambora, Indonesia, which created a “year without a summer” in 1816 when Shelley wrote the first draft of her novel;
  • Polar explorations of Captain Cook and Constantine Phipps; and later Arctic expeditions by John Ross, William Edward Parry, James Ross, and John Franklin that were being planned while Shelley revised her novel.
  • A history of mountaineering with books and images on display from Horace-Bénédict de Saussure and Marc-Théodore Bourrit.

West Gallery Alcove: Mad Scientists of the Silver Screen

This gallery will feature movie posters from some of the more notable films featuring mad scientists 1926-1996.  The gallery will also include a taxonomy or “family tree” of mad scientists by category.  Exhibition viewers will have an opportunity to tell us who was left off the tree.

East Gallery: The Education of Victor Frankenstein

Before he created the monster that would make him famous, Victor Frankenstein was a university student with an interest in many different scientific subjects. This portion of the exhibition draws upon books in the Linda Hall Library’s History of Science Collection, including works by Robert Boyle, Andreas Vesalius, and Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, to showcase some of the researchers who shaped Frankenstein’s thinking.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Black & Veatch Foundation, KCP&L, the Terracon Foundation, and Linda Hall Library Foundation Donors.


Parking is free in Library parking lots and along the west side of Holmes Street between 51st and 52nd streets. The main entrance to the Library grounds is on Cherry Street. The Linda Hall Library is not affiliated with UMKC. Parking in all UMKC lots is by permit or meter.


June 9, 2018
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Eric Ward


Linda Hall Library
5109 Cherry
Kansas City, MO 64110 United States
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Questions? Contact Eric Ward at 816.926.8753 for more information about these events.

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