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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 August 2005, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Harry Potter coup for new centre
Harry Potter original manuscript
Author JK Rowling has lent her manuscripts to the book centre
A centre dedicated to children's literature has scored a major coup by borrowing sketches and pages from the rough drafts of the Harry Potter books.

Seven Stories, based in a converted mill, in Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle, has secured the JK Rowling exhibits for its official opening on 19 August.

The display will include a photocopy black and white illustration by the best-selling children's author.

The 6.5m centre in Lime Street has an art gallery and a children's book shop.

It aims to explore and celebrate children's literature by collecting and preserving the original artwork and manuscripts of Britain's modern writers and illustrators.

The highlight of the JK Rowling display will be a hand-written draft of the famous chapter six from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - the journey from platform nine and three quarters.

'Never seen'

Elizabeth Hammill, Seven Stories' artistic director, said: "A global phenomenon, JK Rowling's Harry Potter books have captured the imagination of children and adults the world over and we're thrilled to be displaying this work.

"Seven Stories is all about exciting and engaging people of all ages with children's books and how they are made. These exhibits, kindly loaned to us by JK Rowling, will help us to achieve this aim."

The project, in a Grade II listed Victorian granary, was devised by the Universal Building Society and has the backing of the NewcastleGateshead Initiative.

Ms Hammill added: "JK Rowling's work will be on display among artistic material by a veritable who's who of children's writers and illustrators from the past 75 years.

"These include Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake, Philip Pullman and Philippa Pearce - much of it never seen in public."

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