Traveling Exhibit, Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World, comes to Denton


Benjamin Franklin Drawing  Electricity from the Sky,  ca. 1816.  Benjamin West.

Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky, ca. 1816. Benjamin West.

“Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World,” a national traveling exhibition which looks at the remarkable life and achievements of one of America’s most beloved personalities, opens at the Emily Fowler Central Library, 502 Oakland on May 9, 2009.

The unique 1,000 square foot exhibit combines photographs of original documents with artwork and artifacts to explore one of the most extraordinary human beings the world has ever known. Many papers come from organizations that Franklin himself helped to create, like the American Philosophic Society and the Library Company of Philadelphia. Maps, painting, drawings, and objects owned by Franklin give insight into this prolific writer, scientist, humorist, diplomat, civic leader and international celebrity. Franklin’s most famous work, his experiments with electricity, and his work forging the American colonies into a new nation are just a small slice of the exhibit, because Benjamin Franklin, the man, was so much more.

“Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World” was organized by the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, Philadelphia, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The traveling exhibition for libraries has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: great ideas brought to life.

The traveling exhibition is based on a major exhibition of the same name mounted by the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Franklin’s birth. The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary is a nonprofit organization established through a major grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to educate the public about Franklin’s enduring legacy.

After a competitive application process, the Denton Public Library was designated the sole site in Texas to host the exhibit “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World”. In addition to the Franklin exhibition on display at the Emily Fowler Central Library arrangements have been made for the simultaneous showing of two exhibits from the Texas Council for the Humanities at the other library locations. The first, “Bonfire of Liberties: Censorship of the Humanities” will be on display at the North Branch Library. The second exhibit, “The Blessings of Liberty: The U.S. Constitution” will be hosted by the South Branch Library.

 The Denton Public Library is offering free programs and other events for the public in connection with the exhibition. 


Honor Guard Texas Society of the Sons of the American Revolution

Honor Guard, Texas Society of the Sons of the American Revolution

 Exhibit Opening Reception

The opening reception will feature a presentation by Dr. Guy Chet entitled “From the Albany Plan to the War of Independence: the American Revolution in American Memory.” Special guest also include: The Texas Society of the Sons of the American Revolution who will open the event with a flag ceremony, Mr. Benjamin Franklin as portrayed by Lindsay Keffer, and representatives from the Government Documents Department of the UNT Library who will have a display of services available to the community. The Benjamin Lyon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will assist with the reception.
May 9, 2009; 3:00 pm         Emily Fowler Library


Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard, and the Importance of Libraries in America.
Dr. Steven Forde, a Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of North Texas, will lecture and lead a discussion on the aspects of Benjamin Franklin’s life and career, especially as they relate to the importance of libraries.
May 12, 2009    7:00 pm        Emily Fowler Library

  A Public and Private Life: A Discussion of the Letters and Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
Dr. Alfred Litton, an Associate Professor of English and Director of Honors Scholar Program with the Texas Woman’s University English, Speech, and Foreign Language Department, will address how Franklin balanced his public responsibilities with the challenges that he faced in his private life.  A major emphasis within the discussion will be an examination of his letters and of the style, themes, and philosophical assumptions underlying in the Autobiography.
May 21, 2009   7:00 pm      Emily Fowler Library

 Benjamin Franklin’s Shocking Discoveries
Professor Charles Irish will focus on Franklin’s fascination with electricity for children.  He will describe the historical Benjamin Franklin and explore his work in static electricity and lightning rods. In addition he will do a few simple experiments on static electricity and show how to create an electroscope to capture electric charges in a bottle.
May 30, 2009    3:00 pm      Emily Fowler Library

 Benjamin Franklin & the Creation of the Constitution
Dr. Gustav Seligmann, an Associate Professor with the History Department at the University of North Texas, will focus his lecture on Benjamin Franklin and his role in the creation of the Constitution.
June 2, 2009      7:00 pm      Emily Fowler Library

 Benjamin Franklin: Free Thinking, Political Revolutionist
Dr. Mike Campbell, Regents Professor in the History Department at the University of North Texas, will lead a discussion that places Franklin in the context of the 18th Century. He will emphasize Franklin’s free-thinking rejection of many, but not all, aspects of New England Puritanism, his belief in reason and science, and his participation in political revolution.
June 13, 2009     3:00 pm        Emily Fowler Library

 Benjamin Franklin: Spymaster
Learn about Franklin & his role in the Revolu-tionary War. Practice using 17th century spying methods, including invisible ink & secret codes! For grades K-3. Call 349-8752 to register.
05/05/09 North Branch Library 4:00 pm

 Kite-Making Workshop
Learn how to make your own kite with step-by-step instructions & flying tips.
05/07/09 Emily Fowler Library 4:00 pm
05/21/09 South Branch Library 3:30 pm 

Spy Science
Discover how spies use science to uncover top secret information.
05/26/09 Emily Fowler Library 4:00 pm

 An American Girl Tea Party
Felicity invites you & your favorite American Girls for a tea party in honor of Benjamin Frank-lin. Please call to register, 349-8724.
06/06/09 South Branch Library 2:00 pm



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