Launch Event: Benjamin Franklin’s American Enlightenment: Documenting Early American Science at the American Philosophical Society

Benjamin Franklin’s American Enlightenment: Documenting Early American Science at the American Philosophical Society
December 2, 2020
1:00-2:00 p.m. EST

Register for the event  via Zoom:

Join us to celebrate the launch of the National Endowment for the Humanities CARES-funded project Benjamin Franklin’s American Enlightenment: Documenting Early American Science at the American Philosophical Society. NEH CARES Fellows Jeffery Appelhans, Janine Boldt, Bethany Farrell, and Julie Fisher will talk about their work over the past six months. Learn about what went into making the APS’s first virtual exhibition tour, creating new transcriptions of the original APS minutes, researching the books written by eighteenth-century APS Members, and transcribing and analyzing the shop ledgers of Benjamin and Deborah Read Franklin. You can visit the Benjamin Franklin’s American Enlightenment website [] to see all the projects created under the grant.

Speakers include:

Jeffery R. Appelhans specializes in the political and religious culture of early America. He completed his Ph.D. in History at the University of Delaware in 2018. His NEH CARES project is a bibliographic database of the publications of APS Members elected between 1775 and 1785, The database will include the works of such figures as George Washington, John Adams, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, and John Witherspoon. When not contributing to the APS Members Bibliography and Biography project, he is revising his book manuscript, tentatively titled The Creation of American Catholicism: From the Revolution to the Early Republic.

Janine Yorimoto Boldt received her Ph.D. in American Studies from William & Mary in 2018. Her NEH CARES project is a virtual exhibition and catalogue of the APS exhibition Dr. Franklin, Citizen Scientist, the exhibition for which she was the lead curator as the 2018-2020 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow. Her current book project investigates the political function and development of portraiture in colonial Virginia and, in collaboration with the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture, she recently launched the interactive database Colonial Virginia Portraits.

Bethany Farrell is a Ph.D. Candidate in Art History at Temple University. Her NEH CARES project focuses on the transcription and analysis of Benjamin Franklin’s business and personal financial account books and transactions that document trade, material consumption, information exchange, and financial relationships in early America. 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.

Julie Fisher is a scholar of English-colonial politics, language acquisition, and borderland communities who holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Delaware with a focus on Early American and Native American history. Her NEH CARES project is an online transcription of the APS’s minutes from 1774 to 1787. She is the co-author of Ninigret, Sachem of the Niantics and Narragansetts: Diplomacy, War, and the Balance of Power in Seventeenth-Century New England and Indian Country, which appeared with Cornell University Press in 2014. She is also a consulting editor with the Native Northeast Portal, a digital humanities project based at Yale University.

For more information or to ask a question, email Kyle Roberts (