Rare Harry Potter edition to go on show

Wizard treat for Harry Potter fans at National Library

Harry Potter fans are in for a special treat when a rare first edition, filled with personal notes and drawings by the author J K Rowling, goes on display at the National Library of Scotland (NLS).

On the title page of this copy of 'Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone' — the debut novel in the series — the author wrote that this book 'changed my life forever'.

It will be on display at the Library for one week only from Thursday January 30 as part of the current winter exhibition 'Wha’s like us?', which celebrates ideas and inventions that originated in Scotland. Rowling famously wrote most of the book, along with the rest of the series, in cafes in Edinburgh.

The book is being loaned to the Library by its anonymous new owner who bought it last year at auction at Sotheby's. The sale of the book raised £150,000 for the English Pen writers' association and for Rowling's own charity, Lumos, which is working towards ending the institutionalisation of children globally and to ensure that all children grow up in a safe and caring environment.

Rowling's personal annotations cover more than 40 pages of the book and include references to the Harry Potter series as a whole and also the film adaptations. One note explains how she invented Quidditch, a sport played by characters in the books. They are accompanied by more than 20 of her drawings.

The book will be displayed in the exhibition showing the title page where Rowling has drawn a coat of arms and commented on the role the book has played in changing her life.

Andrew Martin, one of the NLS curators who put the exhibition together' said: 'Thanks to the generosity of the new owner, we are able to add this wonderful item to an exhibition which celebrates amazing achievements by Scots or from Scotland. The global phenomenon that is Harry Potter was already featured in the exhibition but this unique first edition makes it all the more special.'

'Wha’s like us?: A nation of dreams and ideas' is on at the National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh. Entry is free.


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28 January 2014

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