To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the American publication of the first Harry Potter book, the Samuel C. Williams Library hosted its first-ever trivia event on April 11, also coinciding with National Library Week. Twenty-five undergraduate and graduate students gathered in the Library’s Research and Information Lab (RAIL) to test their knowledge of the Harry Potter universe.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was J. K. Rowling’s debut novel. It was first published as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in 1997 in England by Bloomsbury Publishing. The American version was published in September of 1998 by Scholastic.
The students formed teams of 2-4 players. Team names included The Snitches, The Firebolts, Order of the Duck, Wadiwasi [sic], The Ruins, The Hawt Dawgs, and the eventual winners The Puppet Pals.
The students competed through five rounds of trivia questions that became increasingly more challenging as the rounds progressed.
The Puppet Pals won the game with a score of 66 out of a potential 69 points, and two teams, The Order of the Duck and Wadiwasi, tied for runner-up with a score of 64.
After several tough questions in a tie-breaker round, Wadiwasi claimed the victory by most closely extrapolating Dudley Dursley’s birthday given the information available in the books (June 23, 1980; source: Harry Potter Lexicon).
The Puppet Pals won a Stevens scarf and a box of Bertie Bott’s Flavored Beans, while Wadiwasi won a deck of Hogwarts-themed playing cards.
Harry Potter in the Archives
To coincide with Harry Potter Trivia, the Archives & Special Collections department curated a medley of items from Stevens’ past that evoke the many magical themes and characters that emerge throughout the book and movie series. Items such as a crystal ball, golden goblets, a wand-like oversized pencil and more bring to mind the presence of the magical in the everyday. The exhibit will be on display in the Great Hall through May 4.
Many thanks go to Graduate Student Library Employees Adwaiet Deshpande and Jay Shah for their work on the event committee, without whose enthusiasm the event would have surely suffered.
“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”
--Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, chapter 37)