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I am doing research on early circuses. I would like to know what titles you recommend for the history of the circus before 1900. I would like to know how the circus traveled, took care of the animals, carried the food for the animals and how they moved the entire circus across the plains. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thank You, Judith Biddleman

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For the period of 1793-1860, the best resource is Stuart Thayer’s Annals of the American Circus, 1793-1860, in addition to his Traveling Showmen. That is supplemented for the Civil War years by William L. Slout’s Clowns and Cannons. There’s then a variety of books for the last several decades of the century. CWM (Circus World Museum) has a loan book program and we can suggest several titles if they contact us. The specific topics of interest to the reader would alter the titles recommended.

Fred Dahlinger, Jr., Director of Historic Resources and Facilities, Circus World Museum.

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