The limited number of troupes touring in 1977 might enable you to zero in on one of interest, but in general people searches are better answered by posting the person’s name. That is generally how show veterans and others recall people. The show affiliations, and especially specific years can be forgotten. It’s also possible that what one person terms a ‘circus’ is what another knows as a fun fair or carnival. Yes, I’m aware, people who did not want to be identified used aliases, nicknames and other identification to conceal their true identity and thereby avoid discovery. In those instances other characteristics, such as appearance, job or tasks, wardrobe, a known pet, an associate or partner, etc., might be the only way to confirm their presence.
Papers Past, https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/, the archive of digitized New Zealand newspapers, goes only as recently as 1949, so you’ll need to seek 1977 holdings by other means. Here are some possibilities that turned up in a simple Google search for New Zealand newspapers 1977: http://www.wcl.govt.nz/pathfinders/newspaper.html; http://www.aucklandlibraries.govt.nz/EN/heritage/collections/newspapers/Pages/newspapers.aspx. You may need to hire a researcher to scan the newspapers for advertisements of the show. Perhaps various NZ libraries have finding aids, clipping files or other material that can provide a direct route to 1977 show information? Perhaps someone who has done other research in NZ in that time frame can provide insights on useful techniques?
Fred Dahlinger Jr., Curator of Circus History, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL
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