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Universities holding Magic Collections

Posted: December 22nd, 2015, 8:29 am
by Bob Farmer
I'm compiling a list of universities and other institutions that have magic collections. For example:

https://arc.library.carleton.ca/collect ... se/latcham

Any input or other information would be most appreciated.

Re: Universities holding Magic Collections

Posted: December 22nd, 2015, 9:37 am
by Brad Henderson
brown university has the h Adrian smith book collection. The Harry Ransom center at UT Austin has the Houdini/McManus/Young collection

Re: Universities holding Magic Collections

Posted: December 22nd, 2015, 9:50 am
by magicam
There are a number of them. A few more ...

    Houdini at LOC
    SAM collection at NYPL (okay, not a university)
    Carl Jones at Princeton
    Harry Price at Univ. of London
    Will Alma at State Library of Victoria
    Residue of certain elements of the McManus-Young collection at Cal Berkeley (Bancroft Library)

Bob, are you limiting your search to strictly universities and colleges? To (generally) English language university collections in English-speaking countries? There are several collections in France and Germany.

How big/small does a collection have to be to qualify?

Happy hunting, and hope you share the fruits of your labors in due course!

Re: Universities holding Magic Collections

Posted: December 22nd, 2015, 9:58 am
by Bob Farmer
This is great guys, thank you. Any language is acceptable.

Re: Universities holding Magic Collections

Posted: December 22nd, 2015, 9:59 am
by Bob Farmer
What's "LOC?"

Re: Universities holding Magic Collections

Posted: December 22nd, 2015, 10:03 am
by Jim Martin
Library of Congress.

Here's a link to the Houdini collection:

https://www.loc.gov/rr/rarebook/coll/122.html

Re: Universities holding Magic Collections

Posted: December 22nd, 2015, 10:16 am
by Ian Kendall
The National Library of Scotland has several books (although not a magic collection per se), including several editions of Discoverie.

Re: Universities holding Magic Collections

Posted: December 22nd, 2015, 1:11 pm
by MagicbyAlfred
Bob, Here is one you might find helpful: The "Willys A. Myers collection of material about magic, 1900-1960" UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library. Materials are in English.

Abstract: Willys A. Myers was a U.S. Vice Consul in the first half of the twentieth century. Also an amateur magician, he collected a number of materials related to magic and magic tricks, covering the years from around 1900 to around 1960. This collection contains letters, instructions, books, catalogs, magazines, newspapers, programs, and promotional items on the subject of magic. Among these materials are both commercial items that Myers collected, and items addressed to or written by Myers himself.

For further info, here's a link: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/1 ... 83f/admin/

Re: Universities holding Magic Collections

Posted: December 22nd, 2015, 10:09 pm
by Bill Mullins
The University of Iowa has a collection of Chatauqua memorabilia that includes a bunch of ephemera from magicians.

Brown University also has a T. Nelson Downs collection.

The Providence RI Public Library holds the John H. Percival collection of magic books and ephemera.

Warner Perry's collection is at the Univ of Delaware.

Frederic Jessel wrote a bibliography of works on playing cards and gaming in 1892, and updated it in 1905. It included many books on magic. His collection went to the Bodleian library at Oxford Univ.

Harvard has a magic poster collection.

The Henry Evans collection at the British Library has a good bit of magic-related stuff.

The Smithsonian has a small collection of magic material within the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana.

Lester Lake's correspondence is at Ohio State.

UC Santa Barbara has a performing arts collection including magic.

This paper lists "the Harry Houdini and the McManus–Young holdings at the University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center, the H. Adrian Smith Collection of Conjuring and Magicana at Brown University’s John Hay Library, the Will Alma Conjuring Collection at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, the Robbins Stage Magic Collection at the State Library of New South Wales, the Raymond Mander & Joe Mitchenson Theatre Collection at London’s Trinity College of Music, the George DeMott Papers of the Billy Rose Theatre Collection, the Curtiss Show Print Collection at the Ohio State University’s Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute, and the manuscripts collection at the Robert L. Parkinson Library and Research Center at the Baraboo, Wisconsin, Circus World Museum. The Donald C. Davidson Library at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Harvard Theatre Collection also have collections containing information on magic history . . ."

Re: Universities holding Magic Collections

Posted: December 22nd, 2015, 10:16 pm
by Steve Bryant
Indiana University's Lilly Library has a nice selection of blow books that Ricky Jay came to research.

Re: Universities holding Magic Collections

Posted: December 23rd, 2015, 12:32 am
by Dustin Stinett
Now looking forward to Bob's new "Bammo Institutionalized Magic Collection" book.

Re: Universities holding Magic Collections

Posted: December 23rd, 2015, 1:17 am
by Bill Mullins
Bill Mullins wrote:Frederic Jessel wrote a bibliography of works on playing cards and gaming in 1892, and updated it in 1905. It included many books on magic. His collection went to the Bodleian library at Oxford Univ.


Thanks to Thomas Sawyer for pointing this out: the 1892 bibliography is not by Jessel, but by Norton Horr. They both were reprinted in an omnibus volume in 1972 by Patterson-Smith, and I got confused. Thanks Tom ! (and I'm looking forward to his new Erdnase book -- maybe in time for Christmas?)

Re: Universities holding Magic Collections

Posted: December 24th, 2015, 7:58 am
by Bob Farmer
You guys are great! Thank you.

Dustin: I have to finish the "Bammo Stuff I Found In My Shoe Adumbration" first.