The Lexicon has been Transfigured!
I am beyond excited to finally open the doors and bring all of you into the new, modern Harry Potter Lexicon. This project has been a four-year process, starting with long planning meetings over coffee back in 2012. About two years ago our team designed and programmed the site, and I brought on the first outside editors to help bring all the content of the original Lexicon into the new format. Since then I’ve had a team of up to 30 editors — fans from all over the world — working round the clock to program the site, create the entries, edit and update the information, and add our own Lexicon Charms to each one.
Here’s what I mean by Lexicon Charms — and this is the heart of what make the new Lexicon a special place for fans. For each entry we have the information from all canon sources, of course. But we have more than that:
- Related Entries – each entry has a menu of related entries from all over the Lexicon. These are entries which in some connect to the topic of the page.
- Icons – when you click on one of the icons you are given a list of every entry in the entire Lexicon which has that same icon, whether it’s an essay, a blog post, a character, a piece of artwork, anything. Icons represent big categories like “Potions” and “Death Eaters.”
- Tags – at the bottom of the page is a series of tags added by our editors. These are concepts and descriptors like “twelve” and “anger” and “competition,” things that are a bit less clearly defined as Icon categories. Clicking a tag will bring up every entry in the Lexicon that has that tag.
- Timelines – Most entries have a timeline at the bottom of events in the Harry Potter universe that are directly related to that entry. For entries that are themselves Events, the timeline at the bottom shows the ten events prior to and following the event of the entry.
- Contexts – Also at the bottom are context groups, such as Family (parents, siblings, children), Locations (what else is found in the same location), and Type (like all the books that are also Bestiaries).
- Commentary – Our editors are encouraged to add their commentary, talking about their thoughts, bringing in fan theories, etc. We also include the Etymology of the terms and a section of web links to other sites such as the Harry Potter Wiki and the Harry Potter Companion. The commentary section is NOT canon, so it’s set apart in a gray box.
- Pensieve – This is part of the Commentary section. This is where you can add your thoughts and make connections, as well as make suggestions for improving the canon portion of the page. We moderate all comments, so if you post and don’t see your comments immediately, please be patient.
- Fan artwork – We have been blessed with having a lot of really amazing artists give permission for us to display their artwork on our pages. Their contributions have made the Lexicon truly a magical place.
I hope this helps you find your way around and discover new and interesting connections in the Harry Potter canon. As for basic site navigation, here’s what you need to know:
I’ve kept the navigation tools to a minimum. I wanted the Lexicon’s pages to focus on the Harry Potter canon, not a lot of messy website rickrack. The site is designed to work on any size screen on any device, so any extra stuff on the screen makes the site harder to use on smaller screens. Your two main tools are the Lexicon menu (top left: click on The Harry Potter Lexicon for the home page, click on the down arrow for a menu of additional choices) and the Search tool (top right). At the bottom are icons to share with social media.
If you get a bit confused as you find your way around, feel free to send feedback (on the Lexicon menu). We will continue to update and improve the features of the site. Our editors are working constantly to update the entries. If you spot something that needs our attention, let us know! If you’re having a problem, let us try to help. And of course, we’re always happy to hear positives too.
I know you’re going to love the new site. We’re so excited to finally be able to invite you all in to experience it. Thank you for being part of the most amazing, most creative fandom ever.