Today in History: Remembering Benjamin Franklin

| April 17, 2018

180416_news_219x365How exciting to see that the Benjamin Franklin Papers via the National Archives, Library of Congress are now online! The Library announced the digitization today in remembrance of the anniversary of Franklin’s death on April 17th, 1790. The Franklin collections endured a “turbulent history”, having been dispersed, damaged, lost, even cut up by a tailor before being returned to the United States and eventually transferred to the Library of Congress where they are now preserved and digitally accessible.

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States who played a great role in the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution, as well as in science, invention, publishing, and education. Franklin was the 6th president of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania, and also served as United States Minister to Sweden, United States Minister to France, 1st United States Postmaster General, and Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly. He authored “Poor Richard’s Almanac” under the pseudonym Richard Saunders; founded the first public library of the United States; and also served as the first president of the Academy and College of Philadelphia which late became the University of Pennsylvania.

The following articles about the landmark case are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.

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  • The Benjamin Franklin Papers at the Library of Congress “consist of approximately 8,000 items spanning the years 1726 to 1907, with most dating from the 1770s and 1780s. The collection’s principal strength is its documentation of Franklin’s diplomatic roles as a colonial representative in London (1757-1762 and 1764-1775) and France (1776-1785), where he sought to win recognition and funding from European countries during the American Revolution, negotiated the treaty with Britain that ended the war, and served as the first United States minister to France.  The papers also document Franklin’s work as a scientist, inventor, and observer of the natural world, and his relations with family, friends, and scientific and political colleagues.”
  • Read about the Papers of Benjamin Franklin, “a collaborative undertaking by a team of scholars at Yale University to collect, edit, and publish a comprehensive, annotated edition of Franklin’s writings and papers: everything he wrote and almost everything he received.” The Cumulative Index  merges the indexes of volumes 1-36 in the series.
  • Check out an author search on Benjamin Franklin to find books held at the Gottesman Libraries.


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