If technology is a type of magic (and it is in a way), then one corner of the internet has just turned into a part of the wizarding world.
Harry Potter: A History of Magic was the otherworldly exhibit that cast its spell over the British Museum for the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. You can imagine that tickets sold out so fast that even high-ranking Aurors would have had difficulty summoning one, but now, io9 has found that the otherworldly experience has materialized online through Google Arts & Culture — that app behind the viral craze of all your friends comparing themselves to classical paintings on your Instagram feed.
“People have always been interested in the history of magic and in the world around them,” Lead Curator Julian Harrison told Google Arts & Culture. “That's what we've discovered from putting the exhibition together and the public response to it has confirmed that. There’s a global fascination in things that are unexplained.”
Anyone who was actually able to get a ticket in their hands when they said accio would have entered what would probably have been a section of the Hogwarts library only accessible to prefects. The British Museum exhibit was full of curiosities, from previously unseen drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay to rarities from the British Library’s collection, such as an antique fortune-telling tea cup, a serpentine wand, and the Ripley Scroll, which is basically a tutorial for conjuring a philosopher’s stone (paging Nicholas Flamel). Now you don’t have to wait at Platform 9 ¾ to see them.
The museum’s virtual exhibits include The Amazing Journey, which chronicles Harry Potter as it transformed from a whimsical idea to a pop culture phenomenon, J.K. Rowling’s early handwritten notes which include a sketch of Hogwarts and a list of Hippogriff names, a fantastical gallery of Jim Kay’s portraits and sketches, and even a section of online exhibits sorted as they would have fit the Hogwarts curriculum.
If you want to experience Divination or Magical Creatures without having to jump on a broomstick or brave the Restricted section, just click here to be spirited away.