Exhibition: Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance, Science, Magic, and Medicine

Stephen Mossbarger

Stephen Mossbarger
Web Developer

HarryPottersWorldBlogYou and your magical personae are invited to visit the National Library of Medicine’s traveling exhibition “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance, Science, Magic, and Medicine” at the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, from Monday, August 4 through Saturday, September 13, 2014, hosted in partnership with the University of Utah’s LS Skaggs Pharmacy Institute.

Please visit us online for more information and a list of associated events — including talks presented by Pharmacy Institute faculty, a showing of the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, weekly scavenger hunts in the Library, online quizzes, and more.  And be sure to visit the NLM Traveling Exhibit Site.

“There was a lot more to magic, as Harry quickly found out, than waving your wand and saying a few funny words.” – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J. K. Rowling

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.

Using materials from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), and developed and produced by NLM’s Exhibition Program, the exhibition explores Harry Potter’s world, its roots in Renaissance science, and the ethical questions that affected not only the wizards of Harry Potter, but also the historical thinkers featured in the exhibition series.

This exhibition is brought to you by the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, and is curated by Elizabeth J. Bland.