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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.

© 2020 Tegge Circus Archives

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.