The University of Louisville Kornhauser Health Sciences Library is starting a yearlong celebration of its 175th anniversary with an exhibit on the original 1818 story of Frankenstein and related talks to explore biomedical advances that challenge people’s traditional understanding of what it means to be human.

“Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature,” a panel exhibit from the National Library of Medicine, will open Feb. 15 at the library, 500 S. Preston St., and run through March 21.

The exhibit centers on Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel, “Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus.” It focuses on the author and the story’s different presentations since the original book’s publication. It also explores how the monster often provides a framework for discussion of biomedical advances that challenge people’s traditional understanding of what it means to be human.

Karen Hadley, associate professor of English, will talk about Shelley at the opening reception, Friday, Feb. 17, 3 p.m.-5 p.m., in the Kornhauser Library History Room. Hers is the first of five talks Kornhauser has put together to complement the exhibit. Here’s the rest of the schedule:

  • Feb. 24, noon, Kornhauser Library History Room. “Integrating Biology and Engineering for Medical Advancement,” Nolan Boyd, assistant professor, Cardiovascular Innovation Institute
  • March 2, noon, Kornhauser Auditorium. “The Poor, the Black and the Marginalized as a Source of Cadavers in U.S. Anatomical Education,” Edward Halperin, dean, School of Medicine
  • March 9, noon, Kornhauser Library History Room. “Because I’m Different: Social Rejection and Violence,” Lisa Gunterman, program coordinator, LGBT services
  • March 16, noon, Kornhauser Auditorium. “ Medical Ethics and Society,” Stephen Hanson, associate professor of philosophy

Admission to the exhibit and to the talks is free and open to the public. Seating is limited in the History Room and will be available on a first-come basis.

Also in conjunction with the exhibit, Kornhauser will show a series of free Frankenstein movies for UofL students, faculty and staff. Show times are 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. for the first three.

The library also will display original anatomy books dating to 1686 and facimile copies dating to the 15th century starting Feb. 20 and through the end of the Frankenstein exhibit.