North Central College - Naperville, IL

Oesterle Library showcases "Harry Potter's World" exhibit

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Harry Potter's World poster
Harry Potter's World poster

Contact:  Nancy Dunker, associate director of public relations, 630-637-5306

March 7, 2011—North Central College will host a traveling exhibit about the real-life alchemists and physicians featured in J.K. Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter books.

Titled “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine,” the free exhibit opens April 10 and runs six weeks through May 21 at North Central College’s Oesterle Library Gallery, 320 E. School St., Naperville. The exhibit will be on display in the library’s Dr. Lora L. Tyson Education Curriculum Resource Center during regular library hours; call 630-637-5700 for details. An opening reception is planned from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 12.

On Saturday, May 7, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., students from local elementary and middle schools are invited to a Muggle Children’s Day.  Attendees will be sorted into houses, hear stories from the Harry Potter books, participate in Readers Theatre groups using selections from the books, make crafts to take home, and depending on the weather, play Quidditch on the library lawn. Children are encouraged to dress as their favorite Harry Potter character for a chance to win prizes. Visit for a full list of activities associated with the exhibit.

The exhibition is composed of six, full-color graphic panels developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health. Using materials from the library’s History of Medicine collections, the exhibit 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.

Information about centaurs, unicorns and other fantastical beasts that were popular during the Renaissance is included in the exhibit, including photographs of real-life rare books featured in the series. In addition, quotes from Potter characters such as Sirius Black, Albus Dumbledore and the evil Lord Voldemort adorn the banners.

“We’re all excited to host the ‘Harry Potter’s World’ exhibit,” says John Small, North Central’s Clare and Lucy Oesterle Director of Library Services. “It will give everyone a chance to see this remarkable series from a different perspective and allow Oesterle Library to hold a series of interesting and thought-provoking events.”

Several copies of the exhibit are traveling around the country; however, North Central College is the only host site in Illinois during the period February 2011 through April 2012.

To learn more about the exhibit visit Educators for middle and high schools and higher education institutions can also visit the site to access instructional resources.

This exhibit is one of many ongoing programs hosted at North Central College to Sexchat enrich and broaden the academic and cultural outlook for the College and community. For a comprehensive schedule of art exhibits, musical performances, lectures and theatrical productions, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).