>> Down the stairs and into the magical world of Harry Potter. A new exhibition is celebrating 20 years since the boy wizard was introduced to muggles, or non-magical readers across the world. I'm Reuters' Scarlett Cvitanovich, here at the British Library in London, where the Harry Potter, a History of Magic exhibition is set to run for the next four months.
The rooms around me are all based on subjects taught at the magical school of Hogwarts. But the curators have also delved into centuries of archives to explore the traditions behind the stories. Harry Potter fans will recognize many of the animals and objects and understand more about where author J.K. Rowling's ideas sprouted from.
The Philosopher's Stone, or Sorcerer's Stone as it's known in America, was the first book in the famous series, and this here suggests the stone's existence may not be limited to the wizarding world.>> It is the Ripley scroll, it's a 16th century, six meter long scroll that describes how to make the Philosopher's Stone.
It's named after a man called George Ripley. He was a canon in Bridlington, and he reputedly developed Alchemical recipes on how to make the Philosopher's Stone.>> The interactive exhibition has taken a year to put together and lead curator Julian Harrison says Rowling herself chose 20 items.>> They range from some of her early sketches of some of the characters in the Harry Potter stories.
Alongside which we have some of her notes, for example her plans for writing the fifth book in the series, The Order of the Phoenix.>> Breaking records for advanced sales, more than 30,000 tickets have already sold. For those who missed it in London, the exhibition will move to New York next October.