A History of Magic Revealed

Treasures from the British Library and N-YHS

The sell-out British Library exhibition that captured Londoner’s imagination has come to New York! Join Royal Oak on a journey to where magic and myth began as we learn about the historical traditions of folklore and magic which became the heart of the Harry Potter series. Harry Potter: A History of Magic combines treasures from the collections of the British Library and New-York Historical Society, including rare books and manuscripts, such as Jacob Meydenbach’s Hortus Sanitatis from 1491 and DaVinci’s astronomical notes and sketches. The Harry Potter stories are filled with magical escapades and colorful characters and while many are J.K. Rowling’s own creation, others have illustrious historical precedents. The Splendor Solis or Splendour of the Sun, 1582, depicts an alchemist holding a flask of golden liquid, perhaps attempting the creation of an elixir to grant immortality. Such references have inspired writers including Rowling—Nicolas Flamel was not only a character in the pages of her first book, but a real person who practiced alchemy and lived in 15th-century Paris. On this tour we will also see original material from Harry Potter publisher Scholastic, J.K. Rowling’s own archives, and original cover artworks from the illustrator of the series.

Past Event

Guy de la Garde L'Histoire et description du Phoenix British Library


Friday, October 26 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West


$40 members only; $50 member’s guest

Guy de la Garde L'Histoire et description du Phoenix British Library