BBC has announced a new documentary, A History of Magic, which is based off The British Library’s exhibition opening next month. This documentary features  an interview with J.K. Rowling where she discusses items she has personally donated to the exhibit. Harry Potter: A History of Magic opens to the public on October 20th at The British Library. The exhibit will also be making it’s way to New York in October 2018, making a stop at the New-York Historical Society.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic will unveil rare books, manuscripts and magical objects from the British Library’s collection, capturing the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories. Exploring the subjects studied at Hogwarts, the exhibition will include original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter illustrator Jim Kay – all on display for the first time.

And as it travels from London to New York, the exhibition will evolve to include US-specific artefacts and items from the collection of US Harry Potter publisher Scholastic.

BBC has released the following information on the documentary which will air on BBC Two. An air date has not yet been revealed.

It’s 20 years since J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone first cast its spell on readers across the globe, thanks to the charm, warmth and imagination of its wizarding world. But Rowling’s fantastical creation wasn’t entirely make-believe…

To mark the 20th anniversary of her book, the BBC presents an enchanting new documentary, uncovering the real life traditions of magic at the heart of Harry Potter.

A thrilling journey through legends, belief and folklore, this film goes behind the scenes with the British Library as they search to tell that story through objects in their collection, in an ambitious new exhibition: Harry Potter: A History Of Magic. J.K. Rowling, who is lending unseen manuscripts, drawings and drafts from her private archives (which will sit alongside treasures from the British Library, as well as original drafts and drawings from Jim Kay) talks about some of the personal items she has lent to the exhibition and gives new insight into her writing, looking at some of the objects from the exhibition that have fired her imagination.

Readings from famous fans playfully recreates some of the best loved spells, potions and magical moments from the books, and, as we follow the process of the exhibition, we discover modern magic’s counterparts (from real life wandmakers to Quidditch enthusiasts). In doing so we discover an unexpected relationship between magic, belief and science: from the Anglo-Saxon spells that cure MRSA; to the so-called witches who pioneered contemporary medicine; to the ancient stargazers who first mapped the wonders of the night sky.

It was commissioned for BBC Two by Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two and Mark Bell, Head of Commissioning BBC Arts, and the Executive Producer is Janet Lee. The Producer/Director is Jude Ho for BBC Studios.

Filed Under: Books, Harry Potter: The Exhibition