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18 February 2015

Montreal: The McCord Museum magic acquisition

From the Montreal Gazette:
The McCord Museum has acquired a $3-million collection of 600 posters, 200 rare books and 200 documents relating to the golden age of magic – from the 19th to early 20th centuries. 
Included are objects linked to Harry Houdini, including personal correspondence and scrapbooks. Houdini performed in Montreal four times, including the event in 1926 where a McGill student punched Houdini in the stomach before he was prepared for it, rupturing his appendix. Houdini died a week later.

“It’s the second-largest collection of Houdini material held in a public institution,” said David Ben, artistic director of Magicana, an organization dedicated to the study of magic. Ben served as an adviser to the museum and was there on Monday as journalists were invited into the museum vaults to view some of the artifacts.  The Library of Congress in the U.S. has the largest such collection, making this the most extensive in Canada. “The collection is significant,” Ben said.

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