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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.

What’s New

Version 1.1.1

New fonts, bug fixes, tested for iOS 7 compatibility

Ratings and Reviews

3.6 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

robpreuss ,

iOS 11 please?

for all your apps. i miss them!

ArcadiaStudios ,

Amazing wealth of information

If you have any interest at all in Mary Shelley's original "Frankenstein" novel and the many ways it's had an impact on popular culture, women's issues, and literature since it was published in 1818, you owe it to yourself to spend some time with this app. It brings together an amazing wealth of literary criticism, social commentary, and original documents to present what feels like a comprehensive exploration of both the novel and the many ways it has influenced Western culture over the last 200 years. My only quibble -- and it's very minor -- is that it's so deep in content that it takes some time to figure out how to find everything. (It wasn't until I visited the Help menu that I realized much of the content was hidden in portrait mode; you have to switch to landscape to see the full text of the novel, Shelley's original handwritten version, and much more.) This is worth at least as much as GarageBand, yet it's free. Thank you, NYPL!

Tanuki66 ,

iOS 11 or online?

If y’all aren’t interested in updating your app, could you at least make all the content available on the web?


The New York Library Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations
1.1 GB

Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.



Age Rating
Rated 9+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes
Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
© New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations


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