The Harry Potter Lexicon Celebrates 20 Years with a Magical Surprise

Many would agree that it’s the small details that make the Harry Potter series so great. Countless fans who have reread the books could probably testify to the fact that you find something new every time you revisit the story. There are far too many small tidbits to possibly remember them all, but there is one mighty source on the Internet that has been documenting these small, but very important, facts for the past 20 years: the Harry Potter Lexicon.

If you don’t know of the Lexicon’s existence, you probably haven’t had an Internet connection for the past 20 years. This mighty source of wizarding world information withstood the test of time and is still much loved among fans across the globe. This year, it is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and the Lexicon team has a few surprises up their sleeve.

Before getting down to the details of the celebration, let’s do a flashback to 1999 when librarian Steve Vander Ark first started to catalog all the small magical details from the Harry Potter books. At the time, only three of the books had been released. Steve pored over them, making notes of all the spells, characters, places, and tiny details most missed during their first read-through. He proceeded to put this information on a small website to share it with the rest of the fandom. The site launched in July 2000, and so the Harry Potter Lexicon was born. Now, it has become the most authoritative resource on the globe when it comes to the world of Harry Potter. In fact, Rowling admitted that she used the site to double-check facts to ensure she maintained continuity while writing the books. Even Warner Bros. used the Lexicon as a source to ensure the films stayed true to the story. Electronic Arts and Scholastic followed suit, using the website’s vast amount of information for their projects.

Behind all this success stands a small team made up of dedicated fans, which include librarians and professional researchers. Over the years, their research expanded beyond the books: They looked into interviews Rowling did, searching for more revelations, analyzed companion books and newsletters, and added fan art and essays to the website. To say that it is a comprehensive source is an understatement. The Lexicon has grown to be the go-to source for information on the Potter series and films – if you can’t find something on there, you likely imagined reading or seeing it in the first place.

With its 20th anniversary around the corner, the Harry Potter Lexicon team has decided to go big. The celebration, officially known as the Canon Celebration, will last six months. During this time period, new content will be released on the site on a weekly basis. You can look forward to feasting your eyes on new artwork, revisiting the past through essays the Potter fandom wrote over the years, and listening to magical podcasts. You will also be able to revisit the books and perhaps find something you’ve never noticed before.

The Harry Potter Lexicon is a site worth celebrating; most of us have frantically typed in its address before when we wanted to prove to our misinformed Muggle friends that we are, indeed, right about a Potter fact, such as that Professor McGonagall is too young to have even been alive in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Make sure you head over to the Lexicon on June 29 for the Canon Celebration’s official kickoff. We don’t know about you, but we can definitely do with some magic right now. Let us know about all the new things you discover in the comments.

Marica Laing

Growing up, I was a massive fan of Harry Potter and my love for the stories grew as I got older. It’s no surprise then that I love writing about all things Potter related. When I’m not writing about all the magic, you’ll find me reading (probably something Harry Potter related), listening to music, or writing some songs.