List of resources for magic research for anyone interested in learning more about the practice and history art of magic.

Magic Research Resources: Studying theatrical magic

Peter Prevos

Peter Prevos |

423 words | 2 minutes

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Magic is a secretive art form, or so it seems. Anyone interested in magic research has access to a large number of physical and online resources, which I used to write Perspectives on Magic.

Perspectives on Magic

Perspectives on Magic

This book explores some of the answers to the questions that scholars from different fields of science have asked about the performances of magicians.

Many magicians are avid collectors of magic tricks, DVDs, books and anything else related to their passion. Some are quite fanatical and amass thousands of volumes on the art of deception, like the Conjuring Arts Research Centre in New York. Some have bequeathed their collections to academic institutions, who make these accessible to researchers.

Cool Hunting Video: The Conjuring Arts Research Center.

Parallel to the literature about magic, written by magicians, a sub-genre of scientific writings from many fields of endeavour exists. These books and journal articles are mainly written for the colleagues of the professionals and scientists that created this work. Historians, social scientists, psychologists, occupational therapists, neuroscientists, film researchers and so on have deliberated on the role, workings and practical purpose of conjuring. Most of this work is, however, locked behind pay walls and publishers charge exorbitant prices for a single ten-page journal article. Over the past years, I have extensively researched this literature and created an online annotated bibliography on the science of conjuring to help unlock this vast resource.

List of magic research resources

Internet libraries

Academic Libraries

Dominique Dunstan on the WG Alma Conjuring Collection.


  • Journal of Performance Magic: Open access peer-reviewed journal publishing articles that explore the relationship between mindfulness and performance (theatre, dance, music, live art).
  • Gibecière: Dedicated to the history of magic published by the Conjuring Arts Research Center.

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