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Rare Books

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
609-258-3184
Curator of Rare Books
609-258-9942

The nucleus of the Library's magic collection is that put together by Carl W. Jones '11 and presented by his wife. As indicated below, the collection is mainly books and is held in the General Rare Book Collection. There is as well in the Theatre Collection a gathering of scrapbooks relating to the performance of magic acts in America. An index is available for these scrapbooks is available in the finding aid.

For particulars regarding the Jones Collection refer to: James Holly Hanford, "The Magic Collection of Carl W. Jones '11." in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XX, 1 (Autumn, 1958) pp. 47-53 [full text] .

Several of the books are of great rarity, the most notable of which is the following: Reginald Scot. The Discouerie of Witchcraft. (London, 1584) [(Ex) GR535 .S41]. Besides books on magic, there are books on card playing, on the laws of chance, and on cryptography.

Also included is: Johann Wier. De Praestigiis Daemonum. (Basel, 1563) [(Ex) R535 .W62]. This is a first edition of one of the great books in the history of witchcraft. The Princeton copy has a presentation inscription by the author and manuscript changes and notations attributed to him.

Checklist of the Jones collection with call numbers for the books is included in the Collections File. See also: Trevor Hall. A Bibliography of Books on Conjuring in English from 1580 to 1850 (Minneapolis, 1957) [(Ex) Z6878.c7 xH2]. The Ex copy has been checked for the Library's holdings.

The International Brotherhood of Magicians published a newsletter for a number of years, entitled The Linking Ring. From May 1949 to December 1966, John Braun's column appeared in that publication, and they have been reprinted in Of legierdemaine and diverse juggling knacks : columns from The Linking Ring, 1949-1966 (Ohio, 1999) [(Ex) 2003-0174Q].