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Restore Records Management News

Published on 23 November 2017

Legends from the deep…

…deep storage, that is. The British Library brings spellbinding mythical hoard out of their perfect conservation conditions and into the public eye. 


Can you believe it’s 20 years since JK Rowling’s Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone was first published? The British Library in London has been making preparations for well over a year for the opening of their exhibition that links the Potterverse with the real history of magic and alchemy. 

For more than 12 months the curators at the British Library have been trawling through some of the 150 million items they hold in storage to find the perfect rare books, manuscripts and objects to illustrate fantastical thinking. Among the treasures they found are pictures of fabled magical creatures, a real recipe for an invisibility spell and the Ripley Scroll. The scroll dates from around 1600 and details how to create your own philosopher’s stone and turn base metal into gold. Surprisingly, none of the curators have attempted this yet. 

Also on display, for the first time, is a selection of JK Rowling’s original drafts and sketches from her personal archives and some glorious illustrations for the Harry Potter books by Jim Kay. 

The exhibition runs until 28 February 2018 but if you can’t make it to London, 20 libraries around the country are featuring their own displays with images of the British Library exhibits and artefacts from their own storage showcasing local magic and folklore. 

Here at Restore, we know a thing or two about what goes into creating the perfect conservation conditions for objects both magical and Muggle. If you have items or documents that need secure, specialist storage – whether near, deep or heritage collection grade – call us on 0333 222 6064.