Programming Requirements and Ideas

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

Site Support Notebook

Programming requirements:

The National Library of Medicine encourages libraries on the tour to present two programs at minimum, and at least one program for an adult audience.

Programming ideas:

  • Host an exhibit “teaser” event one to two months before the exhibit arrives to generate interest—possible events include lectures, films, storytelling, games, etc.

  • Sponsor a One Book, One Community program during the exhibit using a book that addresses themes from the “Harry Potter” exhibit (one title for adults, one for young adults, one for children); or a reading and discussion series with two to three books about exhibit themes (see Resources section of the notebook).

  • Create displays or related exhibits of plants used in Renaissance magic and lore, Renaissance art objects or related books and resources.

  • Music programs featuring Renaissance music, instruments and dance.

  • Host a panel discussion on alchemy, astrology and natural philosophy. Discussions may be led by historians, local scholars or authors.

  • Create intergenerational programs for community members to discuss and learn about the history of medicine from the Renaissance to the present.

  • Invite a local scholar to discuss the history of plants and relate Renaissance use of herbs and potions to natural remedies today.

  • Create a public forum for discussion by making library space available for written exhibition feedback. For example, pose a question about the ethical dilemmas and moral challenges society faces in respect to science and technology. Make a bulletin board/wall space available for public feedback and comments.

  • Host and high school science night featuring chemistry demonstrations.

  • Develop a children’s program about art during the Renaissance with an emphasis on the portrayal of magical creatures. Young people can explore their interpretations of animals and plants in the exhibition.

  • Create a curriculum workshop for teachers in your area, focusing on the themes of “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine.”

  • Schedule school field trips to see “Harry Potter’s World.” Create an educational activity guide for young people to use and discuss while viewing the exhibition.