A Harry Potter exhibition has launched at the Harris

Posted on - 23rd October, 2017 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston City Centre, Preston News, Things to Do in and around Preston, What's On in Preston
The Harris Museum and Art Gallery lit up at Christmas time
The Harris Museum and Art Gallery Pic: Sonia Bashir

An exhibition is to be held at The Harris to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ by J.K Rowling, in parallel with a major exhibition on the same subject at the British Library.


‘Harry Potter: A History of Magic’ will be held at the Harris from Friday 20 October – Saturday 30 December.

It will be launched at the same time as it is in London and in 20 other libraries across the country.

The exhibition, taking place in the Harris’ Community History library on the second floor, will include centuries-old British Library treasures and facts about the history of magic.

There will be images of rare books, manuscripts and objects displayed on specially designed panels that are also contained in the British Library’s exhibition.


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Also on display will be images of the 16th century Ripley Scroll that explains how to create a Philosopher’s Stone, hand-coloured pictures of dragons, unicorns and a phoenix rising from the flames.

Visitors will get the chance to gaze at Sirius in the night sky as it was imagined to look by medieval astronomers.

The exhibition also features images of original drafts from the personal collections of J.K Rowling, publishers Bloomsbury, and illustrator Jim Kay, and some of this material has never been on public display before.

The Harris’ local connections to folklore will also be demonstrated, including rare books and items from various collections across Lancashire.

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Cllr Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “This is certainly the exhibition to go along to for all of those people who have enjoyed Harry Potter over the last 20 years.

“Harry Potter has become famous the world over and is undoubtedly one of Britain’s best-loved fictional characters.

“We’re really excited about this exhibition as it is supported by J.K Rowling and leading publishers Bloomsbury, who have very kindly shared some items from their personal collections to include in the display.

“Some of these items have never been seen by the public before.

“This really will be a great exhibition for fans of Harry Potter.”

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.

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Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library said: “We are delighted to be working with 20 different public libraries across the UK to share our exhibition.

“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.

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“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 will transfer to Barnoldswick Library in the New Year and will be available until Wednesday 28 February 2018.

For more information you can email Jill Connolly from Lancashire County Council, or visit the Lancashire County Council website and the Harris Museum website.

Will you be attending the Harry Potter exhibition? Have you visited the Harris recently? Let us know in the comments below

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