Seems like it would make sense for her to put her Harry Potter manuscripts and related documents in some kind of archive where they can be properly preserved for future study and reference. Something like the British equivalent to the Library of Congress.

Has she done anything like this yet?

  • 2
    Well there's Pottermore, which I think represents at least some effort in that regard. I don't really get on with Pottermore, though, so I'm not sure if it includes things like photocopies of any handwritten notes. It would certainly be nice if her handwritten notes and manuscripts and stuff could be preserved in some way - whether they've been uploaded to Pottermore in the form of a scanned image, or not – Au101 Oct 24 '15 at 2:25
  • @Au101 Pottermore doesn't have any of those. The closest thing it has is this one transcribed copy of a list of names from her notes. That said, there were a lot of them published on the old jkrowling.com – ibid Feb 7 '16 at 21:06

It seems as though they're still in her possession; other than a few items created specifically for auction, the only reference I can find to them being outside the possession of either Rowling or Bloomsbury, Inc. is when the manuscript of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was put on exhibit by the British Library in 2012.

However, the Harry Potter manuscripts are not part of the British Library's manuscript collection.

Rowling also posted pictures of some of her notes, including the original typescript of Philosopher's Stone, on her old website. Although that content was removed when Pottermore launched, the Harry Potter lexicon has archived it all.

Where might they end up?

If they end up anywhere, the most plausible location would be one of the United Kingdom's legal deposit libraries, of which there are 6:

But in practice, they could end up anywhere; J.R.R. Tolkien sold the original Lord of the Rings manuscripts to Marquette University, in Wisconsin of all places, in 1956. Of course, The Lord of the Rings wasn't the best-selling series of all time at that point, so the odds of Harry Potter winding up in one of the colonies is admittedly slim.

1 No, I'm not too proud to admit that I copy-and-pasted that

  • The British legal deposit libraries hold a copy of each publication, but I don't believe they're in the business of holding original manuscripts. – rojomoke Oct 24 '15 at 6:31
  • @rojomoke At least some of them definitely do hold original manuscripts (the original Silmarillion drafts are in Bodleian Library, for instance), but it's really just a matter of who pays for them (or if Rowling has a preference and she bequeaths them). As soon as they go on the market, every university in the world will be clamoring – Jason Baker Oct 24 '15 at 14:51

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