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REV: ‘Historical Library of Witchcraft and Magic’

BiblioLabs, LLC is in the business of curating collections of historical works for modern readers. Their iPad-ready apps include the British Library 19th Century Collection, which offers nearly 100 scanned titles for free, and thousands more for a modest monthly subscription fee. In Victorian Christmas bibliophiles will discover beautifully illustrated antiquarian novels, poems, music, dramatic selections, and short stories. Their latest production offers a wealth of primary sources for students and scholars.

Title: Historical Library of Witchcraft and Magic
Developed by: BiblioLabs, LLC
iOS, requires 4.0 or later 
Price: $9.99

Gr 10 Up-A collection of more than 250 scanned antiquarian books covering the subject of witchcraft. The app’s home screen presents the ebooks in six sections: “Ancient Traditions,” “History of Magic,” “Salem Witch Trials,” “Stories and Poetry,” “Treatises on Witchcraft.” and “Witches in History.” Each of these collections represents dozens of books covering the history in the United States and other countries. The authors range from the prolific Anonymous to the influential Puritan minister Cotton Mather.

The iPad is an excellent platform to read the books on as the font size can be enlarged and users can zoom in on the black-and-white and color images. A “search” option is available, as is an opportunity to email or “share” the content. The “features” link calls up the “Salem Witch Trials” page, but users visiting those pages via this link won’t find any additional visuals, audio, or interactive elements or enhancements. The “home” designation on each screen will return readers to the table of contents.

The subject matter and complexity of the language recommend these titles to scholars researching the topic. Motivated students will find a wealth of information and primary resources here, but casual readers and researchers would find this collection challenging.Daniel Greene, U-32 School, Montpelier, VT.