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Mlle. Octavia, snake enchantress with the 101 Ranch Real Wild West sideshow (left), and tattooed man Frank Howard, with the Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth. These original cabinet card photographs are from the Kent Ghirard collection. (early 1900's)

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An original costume dating back to the late 1800's, worn by Hortense Codona (right), mother of celebrated trapeze star Alfredo Codona. Gifted to the Tegge Circus Archives by William Codona-Adolph in 1992.

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Original yak-hair wig, conical hat, ruffled collar, and shoes worn by celebrated clown Robert Smiley (aka: Bobby Kay) during his years with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. These items are from the James Parker collection.

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Mlle. Octavia, snake enchantress with the 101 Ranch Real Wild West sideshow (left), and tattooed man Frank Howard, with the Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth. These original cabinet card photographs are from the Kent Ghirard collection. (early 1900's)

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Lillian Leitzel's dressing room warm-up rings and her contract for the season of 1922, signed by Charles Ringling.  Gifted to the Tegge Circus Archives by William Codona-Adolph, 1992.

About the Collection

 

The TEGGE CIRCUS ARCHIVES has grown into an internationally-recognized resource of all things circus.  The collection is constantly expanding, thanks in part to the generosity fellow collectors, performers, and enthusiasts like you.  Over the past twenty-five years, countless people have contributed to its holdings, knowing that these materials are being conserved, exhibited, and being made accessible to the public.  Such additions, whether a single item or an entire collection, often become the basis of new displays, research projects, lectures, seminars, and even live performances. 

 

Monetary donations help maintain the collection; restore lithographs; digitize photographs, negatives, and film; preserve costumes and artifacts; and create new itinerant exhibitions. 

 

A portion of the archives' acquisitions includes:

 

  • THE KENT GHIRARD COLLECTION of original lithographs, photographs, and sideshow cabinet cards.

 

  •  THE TED SATO COLLECTION of original negatives and prints documenting the final five years of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus under canvas (1952-1956).

 

  • THE CODONA FAMILY COLLECTION of original photographs, letters, documents, and costumes showcasing the famous Flying Codonas, Lillian Leitzel, Princess Victoria, and Circo Codona.

 

  • THE HERMAN BRANDMILLER COLLECTION of original lithographs and ephemera.

 

  • THE ROBERT HAYDEN hand carved, 1/2” scale miniature circus train.

 

  • THE JAMES M. PARKER COLLECTION of original, professional clown costumes, props, photographs, documents, and ephemera.

 

  • THE DOROTHY HERBERT COLLECTION of original lithographs, personal photographs, documents, and costumes.

 

  • THE HAROLD HAMLYN COLLECTION of original motion picture footage (1930's-1980's).

 

  • THE EARL TEGGE LIBRARY of rare and antiquarian books showcasing circus and variety artists worldwide.

 

  • THE HENRY SYLVESTER BRAUN LIBRARY of rare and antiquarian books, films, and documents showcasing circus and wild west shows.

 

  • THE BARRIE AND SHELAGH SLOAN COLLECTION of professional circus costumes, parade heads, and props.

 

  • THE HAROLD STEKLY LIBRARY AND COLLECTION of rare and antiquarian books, photographs and slides, artifacts, and ephemera.

 

. . . and much, much more.

 

YOUR donation will help the TEGGE CIRCUS ARCHIVES continue its mission, expand its potential, and further realize its ultimate objective:  to deliver the rich heritage of the circus to the doorstep of communities from coast to coast.