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Friends Event: Behind-the-Scenes Look at Benjamin Franklin's American Enlightenment with Bethany Farrell

12:00-1:00 p.m. EDT

Friends of the APS will receive an email invitation. Not a Friend yet? Email Alexis Anderson at

November 20, 2020

12:00-1:00 p.m. EDT

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Learn more about the fascinating work currently being undertaken on the National Endowment for the Humanities CARES-funded project Benjamin Franklin's American Enlightenment: Documenting Early American Science at the American Philosophical Society. Digital Franklin Fellow Bethany Farrell will talk about her work digitizing, transcribing, and analyzing the shop ledgers of Benjamin and Deborah Read Franklin. Learn about the eighteenth-century recycling trade, the gendered division of labor in the shop, and what goods people were buying. You can visit the Benjamin Franklin's American Enlightenment website to see all the projects-in-process covered by the grant.

Bethany Farrell is a Ph.D. Candidate at Temple University, her dissertation focuses on the sixteenth-century painter Bronzino’s art production and its relation to the bureaucracy and transnational exchange of Cosimo I’s court. Since beginning her graduate studies, Bethany has pursued a focus in digital humanities. She began her training at the Getty Foundation funded Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media summer institute at George Mason University. Bethany continued to hone her skills as a fellow at Temple University’s Digital Scholarship Center (now the Loretta C. Duckworth Scholar’s Studio) for two years. Her use of digital methodologies has allowed her to resolve primary dissertation inquiries as well as assist and collaborate on diverse DH projects ranging in time and space from Bronze Age Oman to twentieth-century science fiction. Since 2019 Bethany has been the Digital Franklin Fellow. During that time she has activated her digital humanities skills along with her knowledge of economic history and paleography to develop the data sets and relating digital stories for the Franklin Ledger Project.