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Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine in Harry Potter's World

Image of owlRenaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine in Harry Potter's World logo

In 1997, British author J. K. Rowling introduced the world to Harry Potter and the story of the young boy’s coming of age. Since then, millions of readers have followed Harry to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he discovers his heritage, encounters new species of plants and animals, and perfects his magic abilities. The magic in the Harry Potter novels is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy. Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine in Harry Potter's World explores the intersection of these worlds, featuring highlights from the collections of the History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine.

The online exhibition includes resources for educators and students, such as lesson plans developed by classroom teachers for middle and high school classes, a higher education module developed by a scholar working in the discipline for undergraduate and graduate students and instructors, educational online activities, and additional readings.

Since September 2009, the exhibition has traveled free of charge to interested libraries and cultural centers. Please go to Book a Traveling Exhibition for more information.

Last Reviewed: September 13, 2019