Sunday, February 17, 2019

New page: Sources & acknowledgements

Here at WILD ABOUT HARRY I use a variety of sources in my research and blog posts (apart from my own collection). I always try to credit primary sources in the posts themselves, but there are still a wide variety of sources that I regularly pull from that don't always get credit.

So I've now launched a standalone page that credits those databases, institutions, and individuals that have repeatedly proven invaluable.

My new "Sources & acknowledgements" page can be found under the "About" dropdown menu above or by clicking here.

And speaking of sources, this terrific shot of Bess with Houdini's books comes from The Magician and the Spirits by Deborah Noyes.

10 comments:

  1. That photo gives us a good idea of the amount of books Harry had acquired. Poor Bess had to deal with the disposal of all this.

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  2. And Walter B. Gibson had full access to Houdini’s library. Thanks for adding sourcing... makes follow on reading more fun.

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  3. Thanks, John - this is great. (Love that photo!)

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  4. The picture makes me wonder, John. Houdini was such a prolific collector of anything and everything magical. We read of whole private libraries he snatched up in his travels. Is there a definitive bibliography of just the books Houdini owned at his death and has anyone ever made a listing of where they now reside? I'm just wondering how far his library has been dispersed since he died.

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    1. A great many of his books went to the Library of Congress and I recall there being a complete listing online somewhere. I'll have to seek this out and add it to my page.

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  5. The Researchers at LoC are very accommodating:

    https://www.loc.gov/rr/rarebook/coll/122.html

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  6. The individual from the LoC who went to 278 cherry picked the collection and took what he thought was the best stuff. Something like two truckloads. What was left must have been given away or sold off to other collectors.

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  7. I believe the distribution of Houdini's collection when something like so. The magic and spiritualism collections were willed to the LOC (who really only wanted the books, big mistake). Bess was willed the theatrical collection, which she sold to Messmore Kendall along with with all of Houdini's private papers, etc. (all now in the Ransom Center). The New York Public Library also received material, although I'm not sure how (possibly this donation came later). Hardeen, of course, got all the magic props. But it seems if you had an in with Bessie (as Dunninger did), you might have been able to go into 278 and grab anything from any of the collections.

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    1. Almost anything. The Mirror cuffs and its replica stayed with her, along with some trophies. Not even Hardeen got those.

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