What’s behind the door to one of the biggest magic collections in the world?

If you’ve ever explored around the Hay, you might have noticed a seemingly average door on the second floor. A little plaque marks: “Smith Magic Room.” But upon reaching for the handle, you realize it’s locked.

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Recently, I took a tour of the Smith Magic room, a collection of books and paraphernalia donated by alumnus H. Adrian Smith ’30. Smith was an engineering student who paid his way through school by performing as a magician. By 1948, he was elected national president of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and had already starting collecting all things magicana. His collection, what amounts to possibly the second largest magic collection in the world, was left to Brown.

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