Monday, November 11, 2013

Ransom Center shares Harry Houdini Scrapbook Collection online

The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin has made their Harry Houdini Scrapbook Collection available online for free. The collection contains ten scrapbooks owned by Houdini with material dating from 1850 to the 1920s. Among them is a spiritualism scrapbook with a clipping from the April 8, 1923 New York Times about Houdini's fire escape challenge with a dramatic photo that I've never seen before.

Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin.

The University has also made available their Magic Posters and Playbills Collection. This collection contains several Houdini playbills, including a rare 1890s advert for Harry and Bess giving a full-on "Spiritualistic Entertainment" (busted).

Both these collections were previously only available online for a fee (free for students). The University of Texas acquired their vast collection of Houdini memorabilia and magic material in 1958.

Our friend Tom Interval at Houdini Museum has done a great job breaking down the collection and providing links and descriptions of all the scrapbooks and individual posters. Click on over to Tom's site or the Ransom Center to have a browse of these Houdini treasures.

Thanks to the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin for permission to use the above image.

7 comments:

  1. Absolutely fabulous! As you know I have always wanted to visit. This is great news that Tom and you are sharing.

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  2. Poor Harry--it must have been really hot where he is. The fire looks high and intense. I'm grateful to the U of Texas, John and Tom for everything they do!

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  3. John Hinson great nephew of Bess and Harry HoudiniNovember 12, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    More of the puzzle being answer. Thank s for puting on the web.

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  4. John Hinson great nephew of Bess and Harry HoudiniNovember 12, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    Nice image never seen before.

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  5. Brilliant. Thanks to all. Thank you both.
    Narinder

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  6. wow - this is great - thanks John

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  7. I've received permission from the Ransom Center to post a full page from one of the scrapbooks that will be of particular interest to fans of Houdini's magic. I'll be posting that tomorrow.

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