"Franklin & Friends" Exhibition
The University of Delaware Library announces the forthcoming exhibition entitled "Franklin & Friends" which will be on view in the Special Collections Exhibition Gallery of the Morris Library, University of Delaware, Newark from Tuesday, August 23, 2005, through Friday, December 16, 2005. Iris Snyder, Associate Librarian in the Special Collections Department, is the curator of "Franklin & Friends."
The exhibition is in celebration of the three hundredth anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin and will highlight books and manuscripts by and about Franklin and his associates. A true Renaissance man, Franklin was a statesman and diplomat, inventor and scientist, author, printer and publisher, and public servant. Throughout his long life, he worked and corresponded with most of the important political and scientific leaders in the colonies, England and France. His impact on the new nation of the United States was enormous and he continues to be honored and studied to this day.
The University of Delaware has a strong collection of eighteenth century political and scientific works, as well as an outstanding collection of the printing history of the period. All of the material for "Franklin & Friends" is held by Special Collections of the University of Delaware Library.
"Franklin & Friends" is organized to show the many areas in which Franklin was involved. Among the highlights are books printed by Franklin, including religious books, almanacs, government documents and M.T. Cicero's Cato Major, considered one of the finest examples of eighteenth century printing. Scientific works include the first French and fourth American edition of Franklin's Experiments and Observations on Electricity, as well as groundbreaking works by contemporaries such as Antoine Laurent Lavoisier's Elements of Chemistry and Joseph Priestley's Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air.
Franklin also was involved with the development of scientific botany in Philadelphia and the American Colonies. The first book on native American trees, Arbustrum americanum, was dedicated to him and he helped his close friend botanist John Bartram, establish a business sending seeds of native plants to British gardeners.
Franklin also was a diplomat, representing the American colonies in England before and during the Revolution and negotiating the peace. Among the documents on display will be several influential pamphlets written by Franklin, including Information to Those Who Would Remove to America. And, Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America and The Interest of Great Britain Considered, with Regard to her Colonies: and the Acquisitions of Canada and Guadaloupe. Viewers can also see one of the key documents of the early Republic, Constitutions des treize États-Unis de l'Amérique. This translation of the "Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America," the "Declaration of Independence" the "Articles of Confederation" (1783) was the first opportunity for Europeans to see the seminal documents of the new country. Franklin arranged for the translation and publication and used it to develop support for the new government.
The University of Delaware Library owns four volumes from Franklin's personal library. These books, which will be on display, were identified as part of a project of the Library Company of Philadelphia to determine the current locations of Franklin's books.
About the Special Collections Department
Holdings of the Special Collections Department of the University of Delaware Library include books, manuscripts, maps, prints, photographs, broadsides, periodicals, pamphlets, ephemera, and realia from the fifteenth to the twentieth century. The collections complement the Library's general collections with particular strengths in the subject areas of the arts; English, Irish, and American literature; history and Delawareana; horticulture; and history of science and technology. The University of Delaware Archives is separately administered and comprises university records and history of the institution.
Morris Library hours are available on the web of the University of Delaware Library at www.lib.udel.edu or are available at 302-831-BOOK.
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