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Sunday, 26 June 2011

Researching magic

Researching magic

Because of the secretive nature of magic, research can sometimes be a challenge.[17] Many magic resources are privately held and most libraries only have small populist collections of magicana. However, organizations exist to band together independent collectors, writers, and researchers of magic history. These include: the Magic Collectors' Association [1], which publishes a quarterly magazine and hosts an annual convention; and The Conjuring Arts Research Center [2], which publishes a monthly newsletter and biannual magazine, and offers its members use of a searchable database of rare books and periodicals.
The history of magic performance is particularly notable as a key area of popular culture from the mid 19th to mid 20th centuries. Many performances and performers can be followed through newspapers of the time.
Many books have been written about magic tricks; so many are written every year that at least one magic author [18] has suggested that more books are written about magic than any other performing art. Although the bulk of these books are not seen on the shelves of libraries or public bookstores, the serious student can find many titles through specialized stores catering to the needs of magical performers.
Several notable public research collections on magic are the WG Alma Conjuring Collection at the State Library of Victoria; the R. B. Robbins Collection of Stage Magic and Conjuring at the State Library of NSW; the H. Adrian Smith Collection of Conjuring and Magicana at Brown University; and the Carl W. Jones Magic Collection, 1870s-1948 at Princeton University.

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