This month’s featured collection: The Art Latcham Magic Collection! Magic beyond your wildest imagining, here in the Library. There’s even a wand.

Did you know that Archives and Research Collections (room 581) has a collection of material pertaining to the history and practice of sleight of hand magic and mentalism?

Previously housed at the Witchurch-Stouffville Public Library, the Art Latcham Memorial Magic Collection was acquired by Archives and Research Collections in 2012. It is comprised of books, magazines, and ephemera related to illusion, sleight of hand, and related subjects.

Arthur “Art” Latcham, to whom the collection is dedicated, was a philanthropist in the York Region of Ontario. As a member of the Hat and Rabbit Club, Latcham was a magic enthusiast who, rumour has it, always carried a deck of cards to perform magic and sleight of hand at any moment. Art Latcham died in 1979, and the first Stouffville Magic Festival was organized in his honour in 1982. The magic collection was created by festival organizer and town librarian, George Schulkbier. The Art Latcham Magic Collection was dedicated at the first Stouffville Magic Festival on May 9th, 1982.

For more information you can check out the archival material, and collection highlights like the Riddle of Chung Ling Soo,  the signed Houdini, and the 19th Century Conjuror’s Magazine!