Formed in 1905 in London, the Magic Circle has an international membership of around 1500 dedicated to promoting and advancing the art of magic. David Devant became the first president.
In 1998 they opened their new Headquarters in Euston, close to London's West End. It contains a fully equipped theater, libraries and a museum displaying a vast collection of posters and memorabilia relating to the history of mystery.
Membership of the Magic Circle requires the applicant to undergo an interview and to pass a performance exam to show proficiency and skill. The alternative to the usual performance is a written thesis relating to magic.
Members of the Society use the letters "M.M.C." after their name. Applications for membership can be made by emailing the Examinations Secretary.
Members may take a further examination to achieve the degree of Associate of the Inner Magic Circle. The designation "A.I.M.C." shows this higher membership. The A.I.M.C. degree can also be attained through thesis, and in rare cases, that is when a candidate gains 18 or higher out of a possible 20 marks in the written exam, examinees taking the M.M.C. exam are awarded the A.I.M.C. degree. Those who attain an A.I.M.C. degree as a result of a performance examination are given the A.I.M.C. with silver star.
Within the society, there are a number of members never exceeding 300 known as the Inner Magic Circle. Full membership of the Inner Magic Circle is denoted by the letters M.I.M.C. after the member's name. Membership of the Inner Magic Circle is by call of the society's president. The M.I.M.C. degree may be awarded with a gold star, in recognition of the holder's excellence as a performer, although not all holders of the M.I.M.C. degree are performers, and hence, not all are M.I.M.C. with gold star.
The Cecil Lyle Award is for the best trick or illusion to be printed in The Magic Circular during the current year.
The Silver Wand Award is presented to members who have made an outstanding contribution to The Magic Circle.
The John Nevil Maskelyne Award is a monetary prize for noteworthy contributions by members or non-members of The Magic Circle to the art of literature of Magic.
The Maskelyne Award is for "Services to British Magic".
The Devant Award, an international award for magic, named after the first President of The Magic Circle.
1905 - 1906 : David Devant
1906 – 1924 : Nevil Maskelyne
1924 – 1928 : Clive Maskelyne
1928 – 1931 : Herbert J. Collings
1931 – 1935 : Lord Ampthill
1935 – 1954 : Hi Grace The Duke of Somerset
1954 – 1958 : Herbert J. Collings
1958 – 1989 : Francis White
1989 - 1998 : David Berglas
1998 – 2003 : Michael Bailey
2003 - 2008 : Alan Shaxon
2008 – 2009 : Ali Bongo
2009 – : Jack Delvin