benjamin franklin

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online resources

American Philosophical Society
The American Philosophical Society is a scholarly society whose establishment was advocated by Franklin. Its website hosts information about APS meetings, grants and an extensive, historical library collection.

The Bakken Library and Museum
The Bakken Museum website educates users on the research and history of electricity and magnetism in the life sciences. Sprinkled throughout the site are strategic links about electricity. It's an Electrifying Experience!

Benjamin Franklin: A Documentary History
This site is a highly detailed timeline of Franklin’s life by scholar Leo Lemay.

Colonial American Resources/Poor Richard’s
This site, from Gettysburg College has quite a few actual photos of original early American literature, including Poor Richard’s Almanack.

The Electric Franklin
A colorful and comprehensive collection of engaging writings, reliable historical information, and entertaining interactive games.

Franklin’s Autobiography
This website contains many primary documents from early America, including the full text of Franklin’s Autobiography.

The Friends of Franklin, Inc.
An international membership society which posts articles, upcoming events, and the latest books related to scholarship on Franklin.

Glass Armonica
This site contains extensive information on Franklin’s invention, the glass armonica, including sound files, a history of the instrument, photos and related resources.

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation is the official Web site for information about touring Philadelphia and its countryside. The site has current event listings, hotel packages, photographs, dozens of tours and itineraries, information about attractions, restaurants and shops and many other resources for traveling to Philadelphia. Of course, you'll also see lots of Benjamin Franklin on!

Intelligence in the War of Independence
The CIA offers an in-depth review of intelligence techniques and operations used during the American Revolution.

The Library Company of Philadelphia
A non-profit independent research library whose collections document American culture from the colonial period to the end of the nineteenth century.

The Papers of Benjamin Franklin
The first and only comprehensive record of Benjamin Franklin’s writings. Started in 1954 by Yale University, the project will eventually total 46 volumes. The team of editors has currently compiled 36 volumes, covering the first 76 years of Franklin’s life.

Philadelphia Contributionship
From a website run by, this particular sub-page discusses the fire insurance company Franklin helped found– the Philadelphia Contributionship.

Poor Richard’s
This site includes all the editions of Poor Richard’s Almanack transcribed into straight text.

Spy Letters of the American Revolution
This site, from the University of Michigan’s Clements Library, has comprehensive information about spies during the American Revolution, including photos of original spy letters.

The Writings of Benjamin Franklin
This site is a very valuable resource for Franklin’s writings. It covers 1722 to 1775 and includes all of the Silence Dogood letters, the Busy Body letters, a number of issues of the Pennsylvania Gazette, the Albany Plan, numerous letters to friends & family, and lots of essays and articles from newspapers in U.S. and England.

The Franklin Institute
In the spirit of inquiry and discovery embodied by Benjamin Franklin, the mission of The Franklin Institute is to inspire an understanding of and passion for science and technology learning.

print resources

Bailyn, Bernard (1974) The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press.

Brame, Brandon and Warner, Deborah Jean (1999). Franklin & His Friends: Portraying the Man of Science in Eighteenth-Century America. Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania Press.

Brands, H.W. (2000) The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin. New York. Doubleday.

Cohen, I Bernard (1990). Benjamin Franklin's Science. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press.

Fleming, Thomas, Editor. (1972). The Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin: A Biography in His Own Words. New York. Newsweek, Inc.

Fortune, Brandon Brame with Warner, Deborah J. (1999). Franklin & His Friends: Portraying the Man of Science in Eighteenth-Century America. Washington DC. Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in association with the University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.

Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. (Various Publishers).

Japiske, Carl, Editor. (1990). Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School. Columbus, OH. Enthea Press.

Lemay, J.A. Leo, wrote notes and selected the contents. (1987). Franklin Writings. New York. Literary Classics of the United States, Inc.

Lemay, J.A. Leo., Editor. (1993). Reappraising Benjamin Franklin: A Bicentennial Perspective. Cranbury, NJ. Associated University Presses, Inc.

Lopez, Claude-Anne (1966). Mon Cher Papa: Franklin and the Ladies of Paris. New Haven, CT. Yale University Press.

Lopez, Claude-Anne (2000). My Life with Benjamin Franklin. New Haven, CT. Yale University.

Lopez, Claude-Anne and Herbert, Eugenia W. (1975). The Private Franklin: The Man and His Family. New York. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Marks, D’Arlyn, Editor. (1973). The Most Amazing American: Benjamin Franklin. Waukesha, WI. Country Beautiful.

Middlekauff , Robert. (1996). Benjamin Franklin & His Enemies. Berkeley, CA. University of California Press.

Miller, William C. (1974). Benjamin Franklin’s Philadelphia Printing 1728-1766: A Descriptive Bibliography. Philadelphia, PA. The American Philosophical Society.

Morgan, David T. (1996) The Devious Dr. Franklin: Benjamin Franklin’s Years in London. Macon, GA. Mercer University Press.

Morgan, Edmund S. (2002) Available September 2002. Benjamin Franklin. New Haven, CT. Yale University Press.

Sellers, Charles Coleman. (1962) Benjamin Franklin in Portraiture. New Haven, CT. Yale University Press.

Skemp, Sheila (1994). Benjamin and William Franklin: Father and Son, Patriot and Loyalist. New York. St. Martin’s Press, Inc.

Skemp, Sheila (1990). William Franklin: Son of a Patriot, Servant of a King. New York. Oxford University Press, Inc.

Van Doren, Carl. (1938) Benjamin Franklin. New York. The Viking Press.

Winegrad, Dilys P. (1990) The Intellectual World of Benjamin Franklin: An American Encyclopaedist at the University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, PA. University of Pennsylvania Press.

Wright, Esmond. (1997). Franklin of Philadelphia. Cambridge, MA. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Younger Readers

Fleming, Candace; Parker, Robert A., illustrator. (1998) The Hatmaker’s Sign: A Story by Benjamin Franklin. Orchard Books.

Giblin, James Cross; Dooling, Michael, illustrator. (2000). The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin. New York. Scholastic Press.

Gregson, Susan R. (2001). Benjamin Franklin. Mankato, MN. Bridgestone Books.

Heiligman, Deborah. (1999). The Mysterious Ocean Highway: Benjamin Franklin and the Gulf Stream. Turnstone Ocean Pilot.

Lawson, Robert, Editor (1988) Ben and Me: A New and Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin as Written by His Good Mouse Amos. EconoClad Books

Roop, Peter and Connie. (2000). In Their Own Words: Benjamin Franklin. New York. Scholastic Press.

Rustad, Martha E.H. (2002). Benjamin Franklin. Mankato, MN. Pebble Books.

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