Sunday, January 29, 2012

Were Your Ancestors In the Circus?

Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

It seems this week's theme for me has been the circus. For a couple of months I've anxiously been awaiting my turn for The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern to become available from the library. This past week I finally picked it up and I've enjoyed reading it every moment. We also went to the Ringling Bros. Circus today. It comes to town every year and we always go. There are many parts that I enjoy, but easily my favorite part is watching my children and their reactions.

However I got to wondering, if one had ancestors in the circus how would you go about researching them? So I've done a search and came up with Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida.  In September 2011 they added a center with exhibits focusing on circus performers. There is also a Circus Historical Society with a  site that has all sorts of information. There is even a blog about circus research called Hey Rube Circus. The site that seemed the most promising was Circus World Library and Research Center in Baraboo, Wisconsin. This seems like a really cool place that would be neat to visit even if you don't have circus performer ancestors. If you do have ancestors that performed in the circus there is an online library catalog to explore.

I'm sure the back stage world of a circus is just as fascinating as the center ring. If you have ancestors that were in the circus it would be a wonderful story to tell. I bet the research would be fun too!

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