Celebrate the wonders of Harry Potter’s world at public library

Published 3:32 pm Monday, July 17, 2023

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By Angela Cutrer
Star Correspondent

Beginning July 18, the Elizabethton-Carter County Public Library will host the National Library of Medicine’s traveling exhibit “Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine in Harry Potter’s World.” The exhibit will run through Aug. 4.

“Each year we always find some unique ways to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday, along with the Elizabethton Parks & Recreation Department,” said the library’s archivist, Joe Penza. “I had read about this display from the National Library of Medicine about five years ago and knew it would be something special.”

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The traveling banner exhibition, and companion website, explores the plants, animals and magic featured in the Harry Potter book series, which were influenced by Renaissance thinkers and traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science.

“I think a display like this utilizes eye-grabbing imagery from history to offer context to the world J.K. Rowling created in the Harry Potter series,” Penza added. “Science during the 1600s did not resemble the science of today with much of the accepted truth being what we would consider superstition now-a-days.

“My hope is that the exhibit will spark interest in nonfiction and historical works among younger readers who traditionally only consider reading fiction. It’s a very well-researched and produced display with high-quality images in a very large format.

“I think any attendees will learn something new about the world of Hogwarts and have a fun and exciting time.”

The display will be available for public viewing at the library during normal business hours and will coincide with its July 21 all-day celebration of Harry Potter’s birthday.

For more information email jpenza@cityofelizabethton.org.