What's New

Optimized for accessibility mode and screen readers
All-new essays about the fear of technology by students at The Bronx High School of Science — plus more readers' responses to our discussion topics
Rotate to landscape mode to read handwritten letters, manuscripts and other primary source documents

App Description

See how the classics live on and join the “Afterlife of Shelley’s Circle.” What makes a monster? Is technology good or bad? What’s it like to live at the margins of society? Enter the NYPL stacks to see rare collections items and how they continue to inspire ideas and storytelling today.

This second edition of The New York Public Library’s collections-based app “Biblion, The Boundless Library” once again takes users deep into our famed stacks to explore the sometimes hidden connections between the time of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author of the 1818 novel “Frankenstein,” and our own—showing how the classics live on. In “Biblion: Frankenstein and the Afterlife of Shelley’s Circle” you can browse and interact with:

- Galleries, essays by experts on the Romantic era, and narratives featuring 1,300 images, audio and video clips.

- Exciting new social reading features that allow readers to engage in conversations with other readers of the app.

- All surviving handwritten pages of Mary Shelley’s original “Frankenstein” manuscript, courtesy of Oxford University’s Bodleian Library. Toggle between the pages of this version and the complete text of Shelley’s revised 1831 edition to see how she edited the work.

- The entire Esdaile Notebook containing early works by the great British Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley’s husband, from The New York Public Library’s Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection.

- Dramatic audio readings of key passages from the “Frankenstein” novel, read by actor AJ Stetson in The New York Public Library’s Audio Book Studio at the Andrew Heiskell Library for the Blind.

- Copies of Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten draft of the Declaration of Independence, held by NYPL’s Manuscripts and Archives Division; Nelson Mandela’s first official African National Congress statement held by The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and other seminal materials related to the struggle for freedom that resonated with the circle of people surrounding the Shelleys.

- A transcript of a prison inmates’ reading group discussing themes in “Frankenstein” such as justice, prejudice, and being an outsider to society, courtesy of The New York Public Library’s Correctional Services Department.

- Rarely seen photographs of Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and other actors portraying the various Hollywood incarnations of Frankenstein’s monster, held by The Billy Rose Theater Division of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

App Screen Shots

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App Changes

January 29, 2014 New version 1.1.1
July 28, 2012 New version 1.1
June 15, 2012 New version 1.0.2
May 31, 2012 Initial Release

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