It still bothers me that there are no museums in the magical world of Harry Potter. What do wizards do with their material culture? They have banks, broadsheets and branches of government, but no Museums? HOW?! Ironically, a Museum of Wizarding History kind of exists in our world – hands up who has been to the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
Museums in the muggle world wouldn’t exist without collectors, think of Hans Sloane or John Soane. Finders and seekers, like Mary Anning also played a huge, huge role in making muggle museums as magical as possible.
Do these behaviours exist in the wizarding world? Of course they do.
Dumbledore’s office was full of gizmos and gadgets a plenty that would make the Science Museum drool. Lupin’s office was a veritable Super Natural History Museum and Newt Scamander went to great lengths to track down Fantastic Beasts.
And then there’s Voldemort.
Even back when the Dark Lord was plain old Tom Riddle (although there’s nothing plain about ‘Marvolo,’ or indeed, ‘Elvis,’ as his middle moniker runs in the French translations), He Who Must Not Be Named demonstrated a desire to collect. The trinkets and trophies from his victims soon gave way to Horcruxes, but Riddle’s desire to track down items that connected him to his Magical Heritage were nonetheless very impressive.
He, like, made sure the provenance was genuine and everything.
I wanted to know what Museum Folk would put in a Museum of Wizarding History. How would they go about proving Professor Binns wrong; that history is indeed a magical subject. So, what would they put in this magical museum?
Some folk thought about more modern aspects to Wizarding History,
Or socially engaged approached to museology
Others wanted to see parallels between Wizarding and Muggle communities to tell universal stories.
The edition of the Daily Prophet in which the Ministry admits it screwed up. For documentation that the powers that be aren’t always right.
— Rachel Cooper (@CrackleSays) June 27, 2017
Or look at some significant moments in Wizarding History, such as the attacks on the Quidditch World Cup.
Ooo!!! Ought to include some partially damaged tourney memorabilia, no?
— Erica Peaslee (@ericapeaslee) June 26, 2017
On the topic of Quidditch, what about the robes of some famous players?
There was definitely a willingness to tackle ‘difficult’ subjects, such as crime, punishment and mistreatment. Also, interesting taxidermy…
Something reflecting wizarding wars and Azkaban mistreatment- can’t shy away from negatives. That and a taxidermy thestral…
— Rosie Barker (@RosieSBarker) June 26, 2017
The taxidermy Thestral would accompany this quite nicely..
Scamander’s first notebook of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them.
— Polly Heffer (@ArchPolly) June 26, 2017
Quite a few responses had a political edge to them, like this one.
SIGNED INTERNATIONAL STATUTE OF WIZARDING SECRECY
— Sam Elliott (@SamElliott1) June 26, 2017
Considering that this piece of legislation has such an impact on Wizard/Muggle relations, of course it would feature somehow.
This, was perhaps the cutest suggestion.
Dumbledore’s favourite socks.
— Vicky Pearce (@vicky_pearce) June 26, 2017
The man did like his socks.
So, until the day J.K. Rowling makes a Museum of Wizarding History cannon, or at least tells us what may have become of ancient cauldrons or important wizarding artefacts, let’s populate this imaginary museum ourselves. What else should go in there?