Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 690

Harvard Theatre Collection of circus-related photographs, programs, printed material, and manuscripts


A collection of circus-related photographs, manuscripts, and programs and other printed material.


  • Creation: 1889-1988

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English, French, and German.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)

Includes photographs of circus performers and acts, circus programs, a route book, and circus-related manuscripts and other printed material. Includes material pertaining to: Barnum & Bailey, Bertram Mills Circus, Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Combined Shows, and many others.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Circus photographs
  2. II. Circus programs and other printed material
  3. III. Circus-related manuscripts

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Various sources, various dates. If source is known, information is recorded with the item.

Separated Materials

Incomplete set of printed copies of The circus scrapbook removed to Houghton Printed Books.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Harvard Theatre Collection of circus-related photographs, programs, printed material, and manuscripts, 1889-1988: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440