The Barnum Museum is pleased to present the following virtual exhibition as part of the University of Bridgeport’s 2012 Big Read. The Big Read is a National Endowment of the Arts initiative geared at reinvigorating communities to read and engage in book based activities. Our chosen book for 2012 is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This book includes themes of censorship in literature and book burning to protect individuals from the knowledge and information found in books. There are surprising parallels between the world of Fahrenheit 451 and the Victorian Era.
To learn more about The Big Read visit their website.
The long nineteenth century (1800-1917) saw a keen rise in concern over morality and obscenity. Concerns over so-called progressive literature and new scientific methods such as birth control that seemed to call into question previously held beliefs about marriage and sexuality. People such as Anthony Comstock hoped to limit the distribution of obscene materials through state and federal laws enforced with the aid of watchdog groups. Strict, but subjective standards and regulations led to arrests, book bannings and burnings, and the censorship of mailed materials including letters, pamphlets and magazines.
Use the links below to learn more about 19th Century censorship in America.
The Barnum Museum
820 Main Street
Hours: 11-3 Thur & Fri
The People's United Bank Gallery, located at the back of the building is open and free to the public to view the restoration and conservation process. The Barnum Museum's historic building remains closed to the public following tornado damage suffered on June 24, 2010.
Visit www.barnum-museum.org for more information.