The International Magicians Society (IMS) is the world's largest magic society as recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. The IMS began in 1968 and now has over 41,000 members worldwide. It was created to help promote and preserve the art of magic and provide a format where magicians could share their secrets and ideas.
The IMS named Siegfried & Roy as the Magicians of the Century in 2000 and named David Copperfield, Doug Henning, Harry Blackstone, Jr., Criss Angel and David Blaine as the most influential magicians of the past 25 years. The organization awards the Merlin Awards, every three years. "Every three years, the International Magicians Society hosts a banquet dinner, where those magicians who have achieved the highest level in their craft are awarded the coveted Merlin Award. The voting members begin with approximately one hundred names and narrows down to a handful. The criteria that the voting members consider are talent, showmanship, originality, skills, and above all the rare ability to entertain under any conditions."