• Barnum Museum Bridgeport, Connecticut. Visit Website
  • Brewster, New York Southeast Museum’s page on the early circus in Southeast and Brewster, NY. Many showmen and circus people came from Southeast. Nathan Howes and Seth B. Howes began their show business careers at early ages, in Southeast. Visit Website
  • Buffalo Bill Historical Center Visit Website
  • Circus City Festival Peru, Indiana. Loads slow. Visit Website
  • Circus World Museum Circus World’s America’s Circus Museum website provides information about this National Historic Landmark. Click on “Our Treasures” for Parkinson Library information. Visit Website
  • International Circus Hall of Fame Peru, Indiana, was home to some famous shows, including Hagenbeck-Wallace, Sells-Floto, Terrell Jacobs, John Robinson, and Howes Great London. Visit Website
  • Miami County Museum Peru, Indiana. Peru, Circus City of the World, has had a long circus history. The museum’s archives have a large collection of circus programs, route cards, photographs, advertisements, and reference material. Visit Website
  • Ringling Museum of The Circus The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Click on the link for contact and access information, The Ringling Family Show: A Short History, John Ringling, the Circus King, The Circus: Sarasota’s Unique Heritage The Ringling Museum of the Circus & Its Collections: An Overview, and a Virtual Tour of the Circus Museum. Visit Wesbite
  • Shelburne Museum Circus Collection, Vermont has two hand-carved wood circuses: the Roy Arnold Circus Parade and the Kirk Bros. Circus, as well as more than 500 circus posters dating from 1870 to 1940. Visit Website
  • American Circus Lingo A comprehensive list of both American and British circus lingo. Visit Website
  • Golden Age of the Circus Short article summarizes circus history. Visit Website
  • Great American Circuses Hartland B. Smith’s collection of circus memorabilia. Photos, information, posters, and more. Visit Website
  • Let’s Go to the Circus Take a visual trip back in time to see what the circus was like from the 1860s to the 1960s. 158 Circus photographs/images from Wisconsin Historical Society. Visit Website
  • Ontario Circus & Exhibition Historical Data (Ontario, Canada). Includes Circus Troupes, Exhibitions, Menageries, Sideshows, Novelty Acts, Specialty Shows. Routes, maps, performers. This site attempts to list traveling troupes in Ontario, Canada, which were variously referred to as a circus, exhibition, menagerie, etc. Click on “Troupe Listings” to view the list of shows. Visit Website
  • Step Right Up! Bob Brooke presents the history of the circus in America. Includes the beginnings of the circus in America, P.T. Barnum, Golden Age of the Circus, Circus Trains, Barnum & Bailey, Ringling Bros. From October/November 2001, History Magazine’s History of the Circus. Visit Website
  • Al G. Barnes  Casper “Whitey” Jensen spent time the Al G. Barnes circus as a Boss Canvasman. Photos and more from his time with the Barnes circus. Visit Website
  • Charles Lee Circus  C. 1887 – 1896. Includes 1890 route. Visit Website
  • Michigan Circus Families Lewis Bros., Mat Wixom’s, Whitney Family, Silver Family, Nelson Family. Visit Website
  • Miller Brothers’ 101 Ranch Real Wild West Show Colonel George W. Miller founded the 101 Ranch in northern Oklahoma. The Miller family fielded the 101 Wild West Show and traveled the United States and the world from 1905 to 1931. Visit Website
  • Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Explore Ringling Bros. history from 1967-2017. Visit Website
  • Royal Bros. Circus The Summer of My Circus, by Steven Friedman. A photo essay from a summer with the Royal Brothers Circus in 1973. Part-owner Al Stencell’s comments: Royal Bros. Circus was a partnership between Johnny Frazier and myself from 1973 until fall of 1976. It operated under that title for four seasons in Canada. The first season was all in Ontario to incredible business. You can see some of the crowd scenes on the midway. The tent was a 60 foot round with three 30′ middles that I had bought from Hoxie Tucker. It was one of the early tops he had used and had in storage. The seats, curb, lighting, etc. came from the defunct Roberts Bros. Circus. Bob and Doris Earls show. Those ring curbs are what we called “shadow curbs.” Some shows had similar ones only made of canvas or cloth. Not good for liberty horses, etc. The elephant was named “Babe’ and was leased from Dory Miller. The marquee and those band uniforms were given to Shirley and myself by Doc Boas. Visit Website
  • American Youth Circus Organization Founded in 1998 to connect youth circus programs in the United States. AYCO supports youth circus activity through information, connections, and advocacy. Visit Website
  • Circus Harmony Teaches the art of life through circus education to build character and expand community for the youth of all ages, cultures, abilities, and backgrounds. Visit Website
  • Circus Juventas A performing arts youth circus school located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Founded in 1994, offers youth circus arts training and performance opportunities for children and youth ages 3 to 21. Visit Website
  • Fern Street Circus A social circus based in San Diego, California.  Visit Website
  • Flying High Circus One of only two collegiate circuses in the United States. A unique tradition on the campus of Florida State University since 1947, the Circus is a year-round program in which FSU students can participate. Visit Website
  • Gamma Phi Circus At Illinois State University, it is the oldest youth circus in the United States, founded in 1929. Visit Website
  • Great Y Circus At Redland, California, it was founded in 1929. It is the oldest community circus in the world and one of only six programs like it in the United States. Visit Website
  • Peru Amateur Circus Held each summer during Peru, Indiana’s Circus City Festival. Founded in 1960 to develop self-worth, teamwork, responsibility, and friendships in youth ages 7 to 21. Visit Website
  • Triton Troupers Circus Founded in 1971, it is affiliated with Triton College in River Grove, Illinois, a city/local circus, produced by students and others. Visit Website
  • Wenatchee Youth Circus “The Biggest Little Circus in the World,” founded in 1952, continues to provide a live circus with performers ages from 6-18. The circus travels and performs in the summer months and practices indoors in the winter. Visit Website
  • Anna Swan, giantess Anna Swan’s life is a detailed story containing many photographs and links to various articles written about Anna. Also an illustrated version of the story of Anna Swan. Visit Website
  • Barnum Family Genealogy Visit Website
  • Buffalo Bill Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Visit Website
  • Buffalo Bill William Frederick Cody, “Buffalo Bill,” biography and chronology in photos. The site also has pictures of Circus World Museum wagons, posters, trains – click on Country Index, then Wisconsin, then Baraboo. Visit Website
  • George W. “Popcorn” Hall Visit Website
  • Harold Voice Craig Voice’s blog, with many circus photos, programs, and items from his uncles’ estate. Visit Website
  • Herr Driesbach, lion tamer Visit Website
  • James L. Hutchinson “Hutch” was part-owner of Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson from 1881-1887 and was with various circuses from 1862-1887. Rootsweb site, at times this service provider is not available, check again later if you get a “page cannot be displayed message.” Visit Website
  • John Patterson The “Rambler from Clare,” a celebrated circus clown in the late 1800s. Visit Website
  • Martin Bates, Anna Swan’s husband Visit Website
  • Mollie Bailey Mollie Arline Kirkland Bailey, “Circus Queen of the Southwest.” Biography from Handbook of Texas Online. Try the search engine for this site (type in the circus) to explore more circus history. Visit Website
  • P.T. Barnum Barnum Museum. Visit Website
  • P.T. Barnum Take a look at Photos, History, and Humbugs. Visit Website
  • Sells Bros. Circus Town! Sells Brothers’ Show Called Columbus (Ohio) Home. Short North Gazette 1999 article. Visit Website
  • William P. Hall Circus history featuring William P. Hall, a remarkable project created by a young 7th-grade student for her school’s National History Day contest. Be sure to click on all the options on the navigation bar to see all of the remarkable results of her research. Visit Website
  • Circus Posters History of the circus poster, including original manufacturing procedures, types of posters produced, component parts of posters (which are now often altered or lost), and how posters were originally used within the context of the circus. WAAC Newsletter, Volume 17, Number 2, May 1995. Visit Website
  • Circus Posters Princeton University has placed a number of circus posters in their collection online. Visit Website
  • Ringling Museum of Art Circus poster and image collection. Visit Website
  • Billboard Online, 1894 – 1911, maybe not complete for some years. View in the text, pdf, and other formats. Visit Website
  • Bill Strong’s Blog Circus of days gone by. Visit Website
  • Buckles Woodcock Blog Discussion of everything Circus and American Circus History in general. Visit Website
  • Charles Eisenmann Photographs 1,412 photographs, primarily side-show and dime museum performers, but some photos of circuses. Click on browse, comes up with Erie Railroad Glass Plate Negative Collection, use the pull-down menu and select Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs. Visit Website
  • Circopedia The free encyclopedia of the international circus, a project of the Big Apple Circus. Artists and Acts; Acts by Specialty; Owners and Directors; Circus History; Oral History; Photo Archive; Video Archive; Glossary. Visit Website
  • Ivan Henry’s Blog Circus history, starting in the 1800’s to the present. Visit Website
  • Lost Museum (P. T. Barnum) Recreates one of the most intriguing places in American history. The Lost Museum is an intellectual and spatial exploration of P. T. Barnum’s American Museum. For almost a quarter-century the American Museum epitomized popular entertainment and education in the U.S. It also articulated, sometimes in unusual ways, the major issues confronting American culture, society, and politics. Barnum’s American Museum was destroyed on July 13th, 1865 in one of the most spectacular fires in New York City’s history. Visit Website
  • New York Clipper Online, 1916-17, Jan 1918, 1919-20, may not be complete for some years. View in text, pdf, and other formats. View Website
  • Raffaele De Ritis’ Blog Facts and pictures about the history (and sometimes the present) of circus, magic, sideshows, burlesque, and other curiosities. View Website
  • Sawdust and Spangles Bob Cline’s Blog, sharing circus history. View Website
  • Simply Circus Abstracts and links to masters and Ph.D. theses. Topics: Social circus, new circus, clowning, circus linguistics, circus history, other. View Website
  • Spectacle Magazine Ernest Albrecht’s monthly online magazine examining and discussing contemporary circus. View Website
  • Through the “Front Door” to the “Backyard”: Linguistic Variation of the American Circus Thesis, Lisa Burns, Illinois State University Anthropology Department. Focuses on the language of the circus in the Traditional American Circus and the New American Circus from an anthropological standpoint. View Website

*CHS is not responsible for the accuracy or content of the sites listed.