Milner Library (Illinois St. University) Preserves Vital History With the Digitization of Circus Route Books
With the help of one of the largest grants in the history of Milner Library, more than 300 circus route books have been digitized to preserve the rich history of one of the most important forms of American entertainment.
Previously, anyone wishing to access circus route books for research or other purposes would have had to physically visit one of three circus collections: Milner Library’s Special Collections; Circus World in Baraboo, Wisconsin; or The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida. The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) awarded $268,000 for the three organizations to collaborate and digitize circus route books dating from 1842–1969.
The route books also house stories about performers. “We learned a lot about Josephine Demott (Robinson), a famous equestrian and how she was involved with the women’s suffrage movement along with other circus performers,” shared Harman. “She used her platform as a famous performer and as a strong woman who made her own living to support the movement.”
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Direct to Digital Collection: 300 Circus Route Books
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.