Houdini's diaries?

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Postby Roger M. » 12/24/11 05:08 PM

Just reading an older Genii and noted a reference to Harry's diaries.

A question if I may.
Who holds them in their library, and why no move to publish them?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/24/11 05:47 PM

The name of the person who owns most of them (a few--very few--are in the hands of magic collectors) has never been made public. He is a descendant of someone who was close to Houdini and is extremely wealthy. He does not need the money, nor does he seem to care that their contents are of interest to many people.

One of the few allowed access to them was Ken Silverman while researching his biography on Houdini. As I recall, he was given something like 2 hours to look through them and take notes. So he flipped through them very quickly (there are MANY volumes), talking into a cassette recorder as rapidly as he could. In this way, amazingly, Ken managed to extract most of the best information.
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Postby Roger M. » 12/24/11 06:23 PM

What an amazing story.

Perhaps the owner doesn't really understand what he's in possession of.......at least in the sense of how a typical magic historian would look at the same set of "books".

I would imagine he (the owner) fully understands who Houdini was, and that the diaries have great monetary value........but perhaps, not being of "the craft", he doesn't appreciate the overall importance of the contents, devoid of the actual cash value of the paper and ink?

Ken would obviously know who this person is, and perhaps even observed his general attitude towards the diaries........has Ken ever commented publicly on his foray into this chaps library?
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