William George Alma (1904–93) was an Australian magician as well as a fine craftsperson and manufacturer of conjuring apparatus and props. His passionate interest in every aspect of magic and his lifelong dedication to the art of conjuring combined to create a research collection of great range and depth, now held as part of the Arts collection.
Alma acquired his first magic book when he was still a boy, Magic made easy, by David Devant. It is still part of the collection, which also includes many rare and ephemeral materials, historical journals from the late 19th and 20th century, and limited-edition publications by celebrated magicians such as Houdini, Professor Hoffman, Penn and Teller, Harry Blackstone and Dai Vernon.
The WG Alma Conjuring Collection contains around 2000 books on magic, 60 magazine titles, 1500 photographs, 300 posters, over 400 detailed research files on individual magicians, and other magic memorabilia, including small tricks and models, many of which are on display in the Changing face of Victoria exhibition.
The collection continues to grow and is highly regarded by magicians and magic researchers from around the world but also attracts interest from family historians, writers and anyone with a passion for the art of magic.