Harry Potter: A History of Magic

British Library
20 October 2017 – 28 February 2018

A phoenix rising from the ashes in a 13th-century bestiary © British Library

Harry Potter: A History of Magic runs from 20 October 2017 – 28 February 2018, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

  • The exhibition will combine centuries-old British Library treasures, including the oldest items in our collection, the Chinese Oracle bones, with original material from Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury and J.K. Rowling’s own archives, going on display for the first time.
  • The exhibition includes stunning loans from national and international institutions – including broomsticks, wands and crystal balls.
  • A 400-year-old celestial globe, enhanced with augmented reality technology, in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, enabling visitors to explore the constellations in the night sky.
  • The British Library will also be simultaneously launching a regional roll-out of Harry Potter: A History of Magic on 20 October, with specially designed panels inspired by the London exhibition going on display in 20 public libraries across the UK, highlighting each library’s local connections to magic and folklore.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic will unveil rare books, manuscripts and magical objects from the British Library’s collection, capturing the traditions of folklore and magic from across the world, which are at the heart of the Harry Potter stories.

Based on the subjects studied at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, including Potions, Herbology, Divination, Care of Magical Creatures and Defence Against the Dark Arts, this exhibition will also showcase material from J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury’s own collections, going on display for the very first time.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • Annotated sketch of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by J.K. Rowling, complete with the giant squid that lives in the lake
  • J.K. Rowling’s handwritten list of the teachers and subjects at Hogwarts
  • Original artwork by Jim Kay for the illustrated Harry Potter editions, including paintings and sketches of Harry Potter, the Hogwarts Express, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall and Hagrid
  • The Ripley Scroll – a 6 metre-long alchemical manuscript that describes how to make the Philosopher’s Stone, from the 1500s
  • Chinese Oracle bones – the oldest datable items in the British Library’s collection, one of which records a lunar eclipse that is precisely datable to 27 December 1192 BC
  • Celestial globe dating from 1693, made by Vincent Coronelli and brought to life using augmented reality technology, in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, which enables visitors to spin the globe virtually and explore in detail the ancient constellations, some of which share their names with familiar characters from the Harry Potter stories, such as Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, Bellatrix LeStrange and Draco Malfoy
  • An early written record of ‘abracadabra’, used as a charm to cure malaria
  • An Arabic illuminated manuscript showing male and female mandrakes
  • The tombstone of Nicolas Flamel, a real historical figure who also features in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  • Black moon crystal ball, used by ‘Smelly Nelly’, a Paignton witch from the 20th century who had a taste for strong perfume
  • A mermaid, allegedly caught in Japan in the 18th century

Ahead of opening, Harry Potter: A History of Magic has already sold over 30,000 tickets – the highest amount of advance tickets ever sold for a British Library exhibition. Tickets are available to buy from the British Library website.


根據霍格沃茨魔法學校的學科,本次展覽分為魔藥學、草藥學、占卜術、關於魔法生物和黑魔法防禦術等多個展廳,首次展出最古老的大英圖書館珍藏——中國的甲骨文,以及哈利波特出版商布盧姆斯伯里和J.K.羅琳自己的檔案,還有各式各樣的魔法物品如掃帚、魔杖和水晶球,當中還包括一個具400年歷史的地球儀,大英圖書館與Google Arts&Culture合作,通過增強現實技術讓遊客能夠自由探索地球儀上的古代星座,揭示其與哈利波特故事中熟悉的人物,如Remus Lupin、Sirius Black、Bellatrix LeStrange和Draco Malfoy,之間的淵源。

展覽亮点包括:J.K.罗琳的霍格沃茨魔法学校附注草图和霍格沃茨學校老师與科目的手写名单、吉姆·凯为哈利·波特插圖版本创作的绘画和素描、6米长的里普利卷轴 、中国甲骨文、由文森特·科罗尼利创作的地球儀、早期的“abracadabra”书面记录、显示雄性和雌性曼德拉草的阿拉伯手稿、尼古拉斯·弗拉梅尔的墓碑、被“臭Nelly”女巫使用過的黑色月亮水晶球,以及据称於18世纪在日本抓到的美人魚。





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