Exhibition inspired by 'Harry Potter: A History of Magic...'

Phoenix Harry Potter exhibition
The exhibition opens from this Friday (20 October 2017)

Newcastle City Library to host display inspired by the British Library’s new exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic.

From Friday 20 October 2017, visitors will be able to discover fascinating facts about the History of Magic at Newcastle’s City Library. Displays will launch simultaneously in 20 public libraries across the UK in tandem with the Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition at the British Library in London.

The series of displays across the UK will include specially designed panels which are inspired by Harry Potter: A History of Magic, showing images of rare books, manuscripts and magical objects featured in the British Library’s exhibition , as well as images of material from J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury’s own collections. www.bl.uk/events/harry-potter-a-history-of-magic

Fiona Hill at City Library - Harry PotterThe City Library’s local connections to magic and folklore will also be showcased, and will include books from our Thomlinson Library collection, which has some wonderful items that highlight the medicinal use of plants, including the Botanologia, The English Herbal by William Salmon published in 1710 and Nicholas Culpeppers and The English Physitian published in 1669.  We also have some magnificent illustrations of Flora in our volumes of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and the Sir Richard Collinson volumes of Flora of Northumberland & Durham.

Have you ever given any thought to how much it costs to execute a witch?  Thanks to the Tyne and Wear Archives the City Library have an answer to this, see the Chamberlains Accounts from 1650. Visitors will also see items from our collection of one of the North-Easts most famous mythical creatures, The Lambton Worm.

The displays have been developed by the British Library in collaboration with public libraries through the Living Knowledge Network, an innovative partnership between the British Library and 22 major public libraries across the UK, and the National Library of Scotland and the National Library of Wales. www.bl.uk/projects/living-knowledge

Harry Potter: A History of Magic celebrates the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, combining centuries-old British Library treasures with original material from Bloomsbury’s and J.K. Rowling’s own archives. Based on the subjects studied at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, this exhibition will showcase material from J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury’s own collections, going on display for the very first time.

Councillor Kim McGuinness, Newcastle City Council's Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities, said: "This opportunity to put City Library on the national stage and play our part in the British Library's Harry Potter: A History of Magic programme; standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other great libraries up-and-down the country is wonderful. We're incredibly proud to have been asked by the British Library and it shows how highly regarded our library service is. The programme is fantastic and will provide something for everyone; from educational tools for schools to conversation pieces for visitors and residents alike. It goes without saying that it's especially exciting for the thousands of Harry Potter fans in our city and the wider region.

“Alongside this, our magic themed exhibition will hopefully attract people of all ages to the library from far and wide. This exciting theme reminds us that libraries are great, multi-use spaces that are at the centre of the community and that City Library has a great deal to offer as free to access venue in the city centre. The exhibition is designed to appeal to regular library users, but also to people less familiar with the library, who may visit less frequently but, we hope will want to return having seen the great space, facilities and opportunities City Library has to offer.”

Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library said of the project: We are delighted to be working with 20 different public libraries across the UK to share our exhibition, Harry Potter: A History of Magic. The Living Knowledge Network is all about sharing resources, skills and ideas to make our intellectual heritage available to everyone and here we’ve championed what lies at the heart of the Harry Potter stories that resonates deeply with people across the country to achieve this. The roll-out truly encapsulates the convening power of bringing local and national treasures together through the partners.

“Using stunning mobile panels inspired by the exhibition, these Living Knowledge Network partners will draw on their own collections and regional connections to magical traditions and folklore to make displays, and I look forward to seeing the results.

“Sharing our exhibition in this way is the best possible demonstration of our aims for the Living Knowledge Network, which brings together libraries from across the UK to inspire audiences, share knowledge and to celebrate the transformative and enduring power of libraries.”

The exhibition runs at the City Library from Friday 20 October until Wednesday 28 February 2018.

For further information about the Harry Potter: A History of Magic please visit: www.bl.uk/projects/harry-potter-a-history-of-magic-public-library-displays

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