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Houdini's 1925/26 Spiritualism Scrapbook - where is it now?

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Candlelight.kk
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Posts : 2298
Location : London

Houdini's 1925/26 Spiritualism Scrapbook - where is it now?

Post by Candlelight.kk on 24th April 2017, 14:43

(originally posted on 07 May 2015 12:23 pm)

This amazing book, which Houdini compiled and labeled as "IMPORTANT SCRAP BOOK - MISCELLANEOUS CLIPPINGS," is jam-packed with newspaper clippings about Spiritualism and Houdini's own spirit busting activities. Many of the clippings have annotations in Houdini's own hand. The majority of the material is from 1925 with a few clippings from early 1926.

Of course, 1925 was the height of Houdini's anti-spiritualism crusade, and it was also the year of his exposure of Margery the Medium. Therefore this scrapbook is filled with clippings chronicling Houdini's most famous investigation. It also contains several clippings related to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2013/07/lost-houdini-spiritulism-scrapbook.html

Where is it now, I wonder? The discovery was two years ago and at the time the plan was:
"The exciting news for collectors is that Mike is planning on selling this. He says he would like this important Houdini artifact to go to someone who "will appreciate it and look after it" and also "share it in some way with other Houdini enthusiasts." He has not yet decided whether to sell it through a national auction or privately, but he is open to hearing from interested collectors."


This update from August 2014 says the scrapbook sold for $36,000.00 - but doesn't say to whom.

I would have thought it should be returned to the Library of Congress to complete the collection.

In true Houdini form, the scrapbook escaped from the Library of Congress’s collection of more than 100 Houdini scrapbooks (the man was one seriously dedicated scrapbook hobbyist). John Cox, who runs the Wild About Houdini fan site, speculates, “It could be Edward Saint (magician and conductor of séances) brought this book to California when he and Bessie (Houdini’s widow) relocated here in the 1930s.”

In his 1924 book A Magician Among the Spirits, Houdini wrote about how he “accumulated one of the largest libraries in the world on psychic phenomena, Spiritualism, magic, witchcraft, demonology, evil spirits, etc.” The one hundred scrapbooks are just a fraction of that collection, but Houdini proved to be quick with the scissors when combing through newspapers.
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Candlelight.kk
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Posts : 2298
Location : London

Re: Houdini's 1925/26 Spiritualism Scrapbook - where is it now?

Post by Candlelight.kk on 24th April 2017, 14:46

Between the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, men and women alike made scrapbooks as a way of processing the news. As Ellen Gruber Garvey shows in her book Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance, the practice crossed lines of class and gender. Everyone from Mark Twain and Susan B. Anthony to Joseph W.H. Cathcart, an African-American janitor living in Philadelphia who amassed more than a hundred volumes in the second half of the nineteenth century, selected and pasted articles and ephemera into big books, often annotating and commenting upon the material.

The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin has recently digitized ten scrapbooks belonging to Harry Houdini. The books are divided into three groups: volumes compiled by other magicians about their careers; scrapbooks holding Houdini’s clippings on the practice of magic in general; and books that chart Houdini’s investigations of fakes, frauds, and conjurers. (Later in his life, Houdini became fascinated with the post-WWI fad for spiritualism—mediums, séances, and psychics—and took on a role as skeptical debunker of spiritualist performers.)
....................

Below are some excerpts from the 'Spiritualism' scrapbook, which Houdini labelled "IMPORTANT SCRAP BOOK - MISCELLANEOUS CLIPPINGS":















http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2013/07/lost-houdini-spiritulism-scrapbook.html

    Current date/time is 21st April 2018, 22:21