The Harry Houdini Scrapbook Collection is now available for perusing through the Harry Ransom Center Digital Collections at the University of Texas. The institution received the scrapbooks indirectly from Bess Houdini who sold them to a New York lawyer in 1926, the year of the great magician’s passing.
The Ransom Center did painstaking digitalization work on the ten books to let researchers see what Houdini collected over his globe-trotting career. The collection includes scrapbooks purchased from others and offer a great insight into the real-world of magic at the turn of the century.
Included in the collection are scrapbooks from performers such as mentalist and hypnotist S.S. Baldwin, who performed as “The White Mahatma,” and on divergent subjects related to Houdini’s passionate study of frauds, spiritualism, magic history and other ephemera.
An amazing resource for fans of Houdini, magic, theatrical history and the best practices of scrapbook digitization can be found online at the Harry Ransom Center.