Monday, October 23–Saturday, December 2

Explore the collections of the National Library of Medicine and discover Harry Potter’s world in this special traveling exhibit!

Traveling Exhibit: Renaissance Science, Magic & Medicine in Harry Potter’s World, Fountaindale Public Library

Although a fantasy story, the Harry Potter book series features magic that is partially based on Renaissance traditions. These traditions played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy. By incorporating the ideas of various 15th- and 16th-century thinkers, the series explores ethical topics such as the pursuit of knowledge, the impact of prejudice, and the responsibilities associated with power.

This free traveling exhibit will be on display on the 3rd floor during regular library operating hours.

If this topic interests you, you might also enjoy:

Spiritualism & Mourning in Victorian America
Monday, October 16, 7 p.m. (Zoom)
The Victorian era is remembered for elaborate rituals around death and mourning. Historian Valerie Gugala will discuss what was required of a newly bereaved family and talk about how Victorians attempted to contact the dead. (Adults)

Register for Spiritualism & Mourning in Victorian America

Zoom info will be sent an hour before the event.

A Deeper Dive into Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine

by Debra Dudek, Adult and Teen Services Manager

Traveling Exhibit: Renaissance Science, Magic & Medicine in Harry Potter’s World, Fountaindale Public LibraryThe Renaissance was a period of great change and innovation. The arts and culture flourished, and a large number of doctors and artists took a great interest in the human body, science and nature. The printing press revolutionized production and access to knowledge, and sharing information through the printed word exploded. The Harry Potter series tied the methods and materials generated from this era into its narrative. Our traveling exhibit will introduce you to human anatomy, plants, animals, and physical sciences and the primary source materials Rowling used in her best-selling series.

You can read more about records and resources from this exhibit on the National Library of Medicine website.  Attention teachers and homeschool instructors! There are middle school and high school lesson plans and online activities available on this site as well! Don’t skip out on these resources.  These are an excellent way to tie together concepts from the fiction series to early scientific exploration.

The traveling exhibit site provides a good list of original sources and digitized items. If you are interested in checking out additional Renaissance-era publications, here are a few suggestions:


Science & Medicine

Animals & Nature

Reading Recommendations

Looking for more Potter history, crafts and activities to learn at home? Check out these books from our collection!