One week to go before the opening of Harry Potter: A History of Magic

Video still from the History of Magic exhibition at the British Library
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd.™ Warner Bros.

The British Library’s new exhibition celebrates Harry Potter and the history of magic. Here’s the trailer to show you everything you need to know about it, plus a look at some of the spectacular artefacts that will feature.

The exhibition features a blend of magical contributions from J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury, the British Library themselves and many more.

As you can see, the newly released trailer shows us glimpses of just a few of the many artefacts that will be on display when the exhibition opens next week on 20 October.

The exhibition, which comes as part of the celebrations of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’s 20th anniversary, will be brimming with more than 100 amazing artefacts all rooted in the wizarding world. The pieces on display include beautiful artistic interpretations from illustrators Jim Kay and Olivia Lomenech Gill – to ancient relics from the British Library which are steeped in magical history.

Chamber of Secrets illustrated edition phoenix Jim Kay
Illustration by Jim Kay © Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 2015, taken from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Illustrated Edition

Wizarding World treats include personal contributions by J.K. Rowling, such as original sketches and draft pages left over from her days writing the Harry Potter books.

The exhibition will be themed around Hogwarts classes, with each room filled with artefacts that represent a different subject, such as Defence Against the Dark Arts, Herbology and Divination. For example, the Divination room displays an ancient set of Chinese oracle bones which were used as a form of real-life fortune-telling. The trailer also nods to the Hogwarts class, Astronomy, and shows us a grand celestial globe; a special type of globe that studies the position of stars. Firenze the centaur might have begrudgingly liked this. You can read more about the special Hogwarts class-themed-rooms here.

Concept sketch of the Herbology room from the British Library exhibition, 'History of Magic'
The original concept art for the Herbology room, Harry Potter: A History of Magic.

Available to pre-order now, Pottermore is also publishing two official eBooks alongside the exhibition: Harry Potter – A History of Magic and a family version, Harry Potter – A Journey Through the History of Magic. These books provide guides, fun facts and gorgeous spreads of the exhibition’s artefacts, so you can learn all about the exhibition even if you’re not able to make it. An enhanced digital edition of Harry Potter – A History of Magic, which comes with snazzy interactive features, is also available from Apple. And, if you prefer physical versions, these will also be available in print from Bloomsbury.

The British Library’s exhibition will also be moving to America next year, so more fans across the world can visit and swot up on their magical history. US readers can get a sneak peek at the London exhibition with Harry Potter: A Journey Through the History of Magic, also published on the 20 October.

Unlike a class taught by Professor Binns, this looks like one magical history lesson you don’t want to miss.

You can buy tickets for Harry Potter: A History of Magic at the British Library here. And for more information about the exhibition going to America in 2018, visit here.