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Prints and Photographs Division



Graphic Journalism and Illustration
Photojournalism Collections
Documentary Surveys
Advertising and Propaganda
Artist Posters

Performing Arts Posters

arrow graphicCircus Posters

Motion Picture Posters

WPA Posters

World War I and World War II Posters

Yanker Posters
Graphic Ephemera
Pictures: Business and Art
Design Collections
Organizations' Records
Personal Papers



Circus Posters
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Adam Forepaugh & Sells Brothers Enormous Shows Combined. Strobridge Lith. Co. 1896. Prints and Photographs Division.

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| bibliographic record

Circus Posters (600 posters, 1840-present) depict the stars and acts from this specialized entertainment arena. They feature such notables as Barnum and Bailey stars Isabella Butler and Rose Meers. One poster proclaims Meers to be the “Greatest Living Lady Rider—Entirely original in dress, style and action, engaged at a salary of $100.00 per day” (POS—Circus—Barnum & Bailey 1897, no. 9, [D size]; Repro. no. LC-USZ62-24078).

Searching the Collection

Many posters for which copy negatives or transparencies exist can be searched in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. The collection does not have its own listing in the online catalog, but items can be retrieved by searching the term circus posters in combination with names of stars and other subjects. Digitized images generally accompany the records.

For posters not represented online, onsite researchers can consult the following:

  • a reading room card index organized by circus company.
  • photographic reproductions of many of the posters in the “Specific Subjects—Graphics” file, under the heading “Circus & Shows”

Go to the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)

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