“Instead of roots, a small, muddy, and extremely ugly baby popped out of the earth. The leaves were growing right out of his head. He had pale green, mottled skin, and was clearly bawling at the top of his lungs.” – from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling
A new exhibit mounted in the lecture hall foyer was created by Pennie Borchers, Special Collections Librarian, as a companion piece to the NLM traveling exhibit, Harry Potter’s World. The themes are similar – alchemy, medicine, herbology and monsters – but the local display highlights materials found in the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library. There are images from Vesalius’ anatomical atlas, Paré’s book on teratology, Bartisch’s classic work on ophthalmology, Dürer’s canon of proportions, and many more. The exhibit will remain on display through early November.
“Like Harry’s professors, many Renaissance thinkers valued the study of the natural world. For example, both the naturalist Konrad Gesner and the surgeon Ambroise Paré argued that knowing more about the living things around them would help them to better understand the way the world worked. Their publications often catalogued the traits and medicinal value of odd creatures, including some featured hundreds of years later in Harry Potter.” - from exhibit brochure, Harry Potter’s World, Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine, produced by the National Library of Medicine