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Harry Potter: A History of Magic Live Screenings


Journey to where magic and myth began!

Have you ever wanted to delve into Divination, ponder the peculiarities of Potions and discover enchanting creatures? Now you can.

Watch lecturers at the British Library unveil rare books, manuscripts and magical objects from the British Library’s collection, capturing the traditions of folklore and magic which are at the heart of the Harry Potter stories. Marvel at original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and illustrator Jim Kay, both on display for the first time.

See the gargantuan 16th-century Ripley Scroll that explains how to create a Philosopher’s Stone. Gaze at Sirius in the night sky as imagined by medieval astronomers. Encounter hand-coloured pictures of dragons, unicorns and a phoenix rising from the flames.

In conjunction with the British Library and together with libraries around the country Manchester Libraries are holding a number of live screenings beamed from the British Library in the coming months. These will be based on the Hogwarts curriculum, including Defence Against The Dark Arts, Care of Magical Creatures and Divination.

Please note that the lectures are about the history and mythology behind the subjects rather than focusing on the books themselves.

Brooms, Wands and Cauldrons: The Instruments of Magic with Simon Costin
Tue 31 Oct 2017, 19:00 – 20:15

Discover why witches’ friends are feline and how the wand became one of the established objects of magical power. This illustrated lecture from Simon Costin of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic looks at the instruments, objects and tools that have been used by witches and wizards over the centuries, from the iconic to the lesser-known.

Illustrating Harry Potter with Jim Kay and Olivia Lomenech Gill
Fri 17 Nov 2017, 19:00 – 20:30

How do you illustrate magical tales like the Harry Potter series?
Find out from two artists who have done just that, adopting very different approaches to achieve equally stunning results. Chaired by Olivia Ahmad from the House of Illustration.

Women, Witches and Witch Trials
Tue 5 Dec 2017, 19:00 – 20:30

The history of witchcraft and gender roles within it.
Anita Anand chairs a panel of expert historians including Margo Burns, the x10 great-granddaughter of one of key protagonists of the Salem Witch Trials, Malcolm Gaskill, and Ulinka Rublack as they discuss the history of witchcraft and gender roles within it.

The Hogwarts Curriculum Lectures: Defence Against The Dark Arts with Christopher Frayling
Mon 22 Jan 2018, 19:00 – 20:15

How can we protect ourselves from vampires?
History contains no Death Eaters, but plenty of vampires. Cultural historian Christopher Frayling explores the history and myths surrounding these bloodsucking fiends over the centuries and gives a lesson on how the various methods of protecting ourselves. How has their appearance changed? What are their weaknesses? And how have they been appropriated by the Gothic imagination?

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