Behind the Stories: Harry Potter at The River-side

UCC’s Harry Potter Society is very active and when each academic year begins holds a sorting ceremony  and has a Yule Ball at Hallowe’en. This year in mid-November the latest film in the Harry Potter universe is to be released: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. To tie into these events The River-side has created a seasonal guide on Harry Potter: Behind the Scenes. We think that this is material that Harry would like!

What Would Harry Like?

When we first thought about the guide we wondered what would Harry be interested in? Possibly some more knowledge about the real historical people seen on the Chocolate Frog Cards, also known as Famous Witches and Wizards Cards, but not as much knowledge as Hermione would like!

Possibly some more on Herbology – who remembers the shrieking mandrakes, and Alchemy. Those were always fun classes!

Entry for 'Hellebor' from John Gerard's Herball.
Entry for ‘Hellebor’ from John Gerard’s Herball.

Definitely more about the magical beasts found by Harry, Ron and Hermione. Basilisks, phoenixes and owls all played key roles over the course of the seven books.

Basilisk in Pare's Works.
Basilisk in Pare’s Works.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a slim volume but essential for knowing the background events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. If Harry liked those tales might he also like knowing more about witchcraft, folklore and other fairy tales?

Spell for Invisibility from Reginald Scot's The Discouerie of Witchcraft.
Spell for Invisibility from Reginald Scot’s The Discouerie of Witchcraft.

Possibly more about Quidditch and where it can be played in Cork & in Ireland. There is now a World Cup in Quidditch!

Lastly The River-side is run by Muggles and so we are interested in going to exhibitions, visiting museums and reading blog posts about The Danse Macabre and ghostly stories.

The Choices

All the books featured within the guide, bar J. K. Rowling’s series, are available in Special Collections.

Most of the images chosen are from published before the 18th century so they’re not as colourful as 20th century books. Ron would be asleep by now. Sometimes the British Library has digitised their copies of the same books so we’ve provided links to those:

Special Collections

Special Collections is home to UCC’s unique collections of literary manuscripts, early printed books pre-1850, books from presses, collections donated from individuals, 18th – 20th century newspapers, theses, maps, pamphlets and microfilm. All Special Collections’ material must be used in Special Collections and cannot be borrowed. Most of the material, including the material in the Harry Potter guide, must be requested in advance. We are delighted to welcome classes to visit Special Collections to use our material. Please contact Elaine Harrington to arrange such visits.

Harry Potter: Behind the Stories

Special Collections & Archives , UCC.

11am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday and Until 7.15pm on Wednesdays

Boole Library

UCC Library University College Cork Cork Ireland T12 ND89