The LSU Libraries is pleased to present an exceptional traveling exhibition developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and made available free of charge to selected libraries around the country. In 1997, British author J. K. Rowling introduced Harry Potter to the world and a literary phenomenon was born. Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine provides a different perspective for the story and its roots. Although a fantasy, the magic in the Harry Potter books is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science and medicine including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy. Incorporating the work of several 15th- and 16th-century thinkers, Harry Potter’s World examines important ethical topics such as the desire for knowledge, the effects of prejudice, and the responsibility that comes with power. This exhibition, based on materials from the National Library of Medicine consists of free standing graphic panels which will be on display in the lobby of Middleton Library from January 24- March 6.
Complementary exhibitions highlight resources from the LSU Libraries collections and reflect campus partnerships. There are several display sites in Middleton Library in addition to the main one in the lobby. The Government Documents Department has on display Harry Potter: the Brand, highlighting the variety of Intellectual Property involved as Harry Potter moved from a children’s story to an internationally recognized brand. The Carter Music Resources Center is displaying scores from some of the Harry Potter movies including a children’s suite for orchestra.
Education Resources, also in Middleton Library, has partnered with high school art classes at the LSU Laboratory School and digital art classes in the LSU School of Art to present Interpreting Harry Potter’s World: a Fantasy Retrospective which includes renderings of monsters, mythical creatures, and herbaceous plants using traditional media as well as computer software. That Harry Potter’s world has stimulated imaginations since the first book was released is readily apparent in the art displayed.
The students in both Professor Larry Livaudais’ digital art classes and Ms. Beverly Wilson’s high school art classes were challenged to create their own mythical plants and beasts. Professor Livaudais, whose students used Photoshop, said that he was pleased with the amount of energy and creativity the students devoted to the project, and impressed with their level of engagement with the software. Ms. Wilson and student teacher Ana Storer agreed that the students’ opportunity to explore the realm of whimsical plants and creatures using a variety of media resulted in a unique body of work. Almost 100 pieces of art are on display, and an open house will be held in Education Resources on Sunday, January 24 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. to showcase these renderings. Both the University and Baton Rouge communities are invited to attend.
An exhibition at LSU’s Hill Memorial Library (Special Collections) explores the real-life history that inspired Rowling. Occult Science & Philosophy of the Renaissance is on display in the library’s lecture hall. Visitors will be able to view original copies of books printed as early as 1536. Of special interest is the work of an alchemist who is thought to have initiated the search for the “philosopher’s stone.” Other works relate to alchemy, astrology and prophecy, and explore monsters and magical creatures.
The various components of the exhibition are available for viewing during core library hours. Middleton Library viewing hours are: Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.; Friday, 8:00 a.m.-6: 00 p.m.; Saturday, 12:00 noon-4:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12:00 noon-10:00 p.m. Hill Memorial Library hours are: Monday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Tuesday, 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Wednesday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
An online version of the panels on display in Middleton Library is available at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/harrypottersworld/. The web site also includes instructional resources for educators in middle schools, high schools, and institutions of higher learning.
For additional information about displays in Middleton Library, please contact Peggy Chalaron, firstname.lastname@example.org, 225-578-7068. For more information about the display in Special Collections, please contact Michael Taylor, email@example.com, 225-578-6547.