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"Harry Potter's World" Exhibition

Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine
Image: Harry Potter's World letterhead with owl

Event Details

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 six-part series examines important ethical topics such as the desire for knowledge, the effects of prejudice, and the responsibility that comes with power. 

This traveling exhibition, using materials from the National Library of Medicine, 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 series.

Harry Potter's World is on display at Briggs Library from Feb. 12 - March 24. A presentation related to the exhibit will be given by Dr. Erika Tritle on Feb. 27 at 7 pm at Briggs Library, titled "Imitating the Image of God and Conquering the Stars: Magic, Alchemy and Religion in the Roots of Modern Science."

This exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Its display at SDSU and the related event are sponsored by Briggs Library and Dr. David and Marcia Chicoine. See more about this traveling exhibition at

Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 – Saturday, Mar. 24, 2018 8:00 am – 9:00 pm Hilton M. Briggs Library , Main Floor

Parking Information

Free parking is available in Lot 164 north of Briggs Library from 4 pm - close Monday through Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.