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Harry Potter's World

This exhibit is open Juy 30 - September 7, 2013 during regular library hours.


In 1997, British author J. K. Rowling introduced the world to Harry Potter and a literary phenomenon was born. Millions of readers have followed Harry to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he discovers his heritage, encounters new plants and animals, and perfects his magical abilities. Although a fantasy story, the magic in the Harry Potter books is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy. Incorporating the work of several 15th- and 16th-century thinkers, the seven-part series examines important ethical topics such as the desire for knowledge, the effects of prejudice, and the responsibility that comes with power. This exhibition, using materials from the National Library of Medicine, explores Harry Potter's world and its roots in Renaissance magic, science, and medicine.



This exhibition is brought to you by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Curated by Elizabeth J. Bland, History of Medicine

Consulting by Mark A. Waddell, Ph. D.

Designed by Howard + Revis Design Services and the National Library of Medicine

Special thanks to Stephen Greenberg, Ph.D., Michael J. North, M.S.L.S., and E. Dever Powell, M.S.L.I.S.