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Library early closure: The Library will close at 5pm on Thursday 23 October to prepare for the annual Keith Murdoch Oration. More information

Facade conservation & repair works: Over the next few weeks there will be intermittent noise in the La Trobe Reading Room while work is carried out on the external walls. More information

Library early closure & facade conservation works
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Magic

The bulk of our resources on magic are held in the WG Alma Conjuring Collection, which includes thousands of books, journals, photographs and posters collected by local magician and magic historian, Will Alma.

The collection covers works from the 19th century to the 21st and is still growing. Here, 'magic' refers to the performing art of conjuring, rather than the supernatural or witchcraft.

Registered Library users can also access magic information online using databases such as Victorian popular culture, which includes digitised facsimiles of many classic conjuring texts. There are other broader based databases that provide a wealth of useful information as well.

For contemporary accounts of performances by local and international magicians, try searching our newspaper collection. Tips on searching can be found in the Magic & magicians research guide.

You can watch DVDs of celebrated magicians, performing their most intriguing tricks and illusions and study the secrets behind them. The Arts Reading Room has facilities for viewing DVDs and videos.

Our magic collection contains over 300 posters and over 2000 photographs. They include many wonderful publicity portraits and images of stage performances. Nearly all of these images have been digitised and can be viewed online using the catalogue.

More to explore