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

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in cooperation with the National Library of Medicine external link (NLM), announces a new, small-format traveling exhibition to libraries, “ Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine external link .” Public, academic and medical libraries were invited to apply by May 1, 2009.

Using materials from the NLM’s History of Medicine collections, the exhibition, explores Harry Potter’s world, its roots in Renaissance science, and the ethical questions that affected not only the wizards in J.K. Rowling’s books, but also the historical thinkers featured in the series. Featuring fifteenth- and sixteenth-century views of the world and its creatures taken from the works of the period’s leading thinkers, alchemists, naturalists and occultists, the exhibition panels explore the intersection between the Harry Potter novels and Renaissance thinkers, lore, and practices.

Twelve libraries were selected to host the exhibition for a four-week display period between September 2009 and November 2010. All libraries on the tour are expected to pay for incoming shipping for the exhibition, which will range from $250 to $450, depending on the distance between sites. The exhibition is composed of six fabric panels mounted on self-supporting stands and measuring 7' tall, 3' wide, and 15" deep; panels are printed on one side only. It requires 30 linear feet of space, or 300 to 400 square feet.

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