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Explore the History of Magic with Suffolk Libraries

New dates added: the display will be at Newmarket Library from 8 - 28 February.

Three Suffolk libraries will be taking visitors on a journey to where magic and myth began with Harry Potter: A History of Magic.

Have you ever wanted to delve into Divination, ponder the peculiarities of Potions and discover magical creatures? Now you can. A regional display of a selection of images from the British Library's Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition will be on show at Ipswich County Library, Haverhill Library and Felixstowe Library this autumn.

The display has been created in association with the British Library throughout the Living Knowledge Network, an innovative partnership with 21 major libraries across the UK. It is the first major project for this Arts Council England funded partnership, and celebrates and explores the historical, folkloric and mythological origins of magic that J. K. Rowling draws on in the creation of her wizarding world. It also celebrates the 20-year legacy of the publishing phenomenon of Harry Potter and will be accompanied by a new Suffolk Libraries book collection.

Paul Howarth, Suffolk Libraries stock and content manager, said: “J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books are steeped in real magical folklore and books on this subject are always popular in Suffolk, so this was a fantastic opportunity to gather together titles into a collection which will be traveling with the exhibition. We will also have copies of the two eagerly anticipated titles which tie in with the exhibition: Harry Potter: a history of magic: the book of the exhibition, and Harry Potter: a journey through a history of magic.

“One of the reasons Harry Potter is so loved is the extraordinary magical world which Rowling constructed - fusing science, cultural history and fantasy, and this is reflected in the series of Hogwarts Curriculum lectures which the British Library are live-streaming throughout the exhibition.

“We are excited to be part of the Living Knowledge Network and we look forward to enjoying even more opportunities to share content and cultural events in the future.”

The display will be touring the three libraries from October to February as follows:

  • Ipswich County Library – 20 October-4 December
  • Haverhill Library – 8-31 December
  • Felixstowe Library – 5 January-5 February 2018

There will also be an opportunity to take selfies with the display and join in the conversation online with #BLHarryPotter.

Ipswich County Library will be livestreaming two British Library Hogwarts Curriculum Lectures: Astronomy with Maggie Aderin-Pocock on 29 October and Herbology with Anna Pavord on 12 November.

Two recorded talks will also be screened at Ipswich County Library: Brooms, Witches and Cauldrons: The Instruments of Magic with Simon Costin on 26 November and Women, Witches and Witch-Trials with Anita Anand & expert panel on 10 December.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic is a major exhibition at The British Library in partnership with Bloomsbury. It is open in London from 20 October 2017–28 February 2018. If the Suffolk Libraries display whets your appetite for the full exhibition experience, you can book your ticket on the British Library's website.