The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia opened to the public in 1954 and is located in the former home of brothers Philip and Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach, international dealers in rare books, manuscripts, and fine and decorative arts. Their Americana collections include letters and other writings of figures such as Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, Grant, and many lesser-known soldiers and citizens. In 2011, War Stories: Hard Earned. Unforgettably Told connected military families with the Rosenbach's collections in a Center-funded exhibition and program for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, based on historical letters written by soldiers. In 2015, the Rosenbach received Center funding for Frankenstein & Dracula: Gothic Monsters, Modern Science, an exhibition highlighting Mary Shelley's 1818 novel and Bram Stoker's Dracula and their connection to the ethical and scientific questions that continue to challenge us today.
In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein, the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia will present Frankenstein & Dracula: Gothic Monsters, Modern Science, an exhibition highlighting Mary Shelley's 1818 novel and Bram Stoker's Dracula—two seminal Gothic works that probe the intersection of scientific literature and social anxieties. The exhibition will include manuscripts from Oxford University's Bodleian Library and from one of the Rosenbach's best-known collections—notes Bram Stoker made while writing Dracula—as well as cross-disciplinary materials from the American Philosophical Society, Chemical Heritage Foundation, College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and the Free Library of Philadelphia. Combined with on-site symposia and workshops, the exhibition will ask questions that connect these historic materials to modern life, such as: What are society's responsibilities to the scientific discovery or creation of new life? When and how do we decide to create or destroy a "monster?" An interactive portal to the Frankenstein Bicentennial Project—an international collaboration of museums, science centers, and community maker spaces including the Bodleian Library in Oxford, the Rosenbach, the Bakken Museum in Minneapolis, and the Science Museum of Minnesota—will reveal the novel's appropriation during times of apprehension prompted by scientific advancements.
Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.