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COLLECTION

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The Allard Pierson (the Collections of the University of Amsterdam) manages an internationally unique circus collection, one of the largest in Europe. The circus collection is composed of a number of collections from private individuals–such as collectors Jaap Best, KD Hartmans and Herman Linssen–and institutions–such as Theater Instituut Nederland–who have focused on collecting circus heritage. It is a living collection that is continuously supplemented with new items. Objects will continue to be digitised and made accessible in the coming years. A few highlights from the collections can be found on this website. Researchers, students and other interested parties can refer to the overview below listing what the various collections consist of and how they can be approached (see the Circus Research Guide below). In this way, all the material is traceable and accessible for research.

 

Circus research guide
manual for researchers

With this guide, which is aimed at researchers and students, we will guide you through the various catalogues, collections and archives over which the circus collection is distributed, to help you locate, discover and research. In this guide you can find more about:

    1. The Theatercollectie’s (Theatre Collection) catalogue
    2. Herman Linssen’s circus database
    3. The University of Amsterdam’s catalogue
    4. The Collections database and archives of the Special Collections
    5. Consultation and information
    6. Other online sources
    7. Some publications about the circus

Using the search instruction above, you can perform an extensive search in the entire circus collection, provided that the data you are looking for has been entered. Below is a simple method for searching the circus collection, with direct links to the online catalogue. For information about the origin of the Linssen and Best collections, see the ‘ORIGIN page.

Photo: research guide cover (downloads when clicked)

Circuses

Names of Circuses and related companies found through historical research by Herman Linssen, including references and direct links to the online theatre catalogue.

For information about the origin of the Linssen collection, see ‘ORIGIN page.

Circuses 1945-2010

Circuses 1883-1944

Circuses before 1883

Circus posters

When you click on the various overviews, you will be taken directly to the online theatre catalogue containing a list of the posters, with images.

For information about the origin of the Best and Linssen collections, see the ‘ORIGIN page.

Collection Theater Instituut Nederland

Collection Best : Friedländer affiches

Collection Best : other

Collection Linssen        
Netherlands

France
Germany (incl. West-Germany)

East-Germany

Australia

Belgium

Denmark

England

Italy

Norway

Austria (also Austria-Hungary)

Poland

Russia

Spain

USA

Sweden

Switzerland

Artist posters

Lager/passepartout posters

Circus photographs

When you click on the various overviews, you will be taken directly to the online theatre catalogue.

For information about the origin of the Baudert collections, see the ‘ORIGIN’ page.

Collection Baudert

Collection Best

 

                             

Circus graphics

When you click on the various overviews, you will be taken directly to the online theatre catalogue:

For information about the origin of the Best collections, see the ‘ORIGIN’ page.

Collection Theater Instituut Nederland

Collection Best

 

Circus performers/Circus families

The Linssen collection contains information about circus performers, circus families and circus personalities about whom he found data.

For information about the origin of the Linssen collection, see ‘ORIGIN’ page.

Before 1945

From 1945

This information is digitized and can be requested by mail: theatercollectie@uva.nl

-Contracted Circus performers 1945-1966 A-Z. This information is digitized and can be requested by mail: theatercollectie@uva.nl

Circus cities/countries

The Linssen collection contains information about cities and countries about which Herman Linssen found circus information.

For information about the origin of the Linssen collection, see ‘ORIGIN’ page.

Before 1945 A-Z

From 1945 A-Z

This information is digitized and can be requested by mail:  theatercollectie@uva.nl

Below are several other overviews that may be relevant for researchers:

-In the Netherlands found circuses 1883-1944  – see:  Handgeschreven lijst door Herman Linssen

-In Utrecht found circuses from 1834 – see: Getypte lijst door Ben van Herwerden

-In Limburg found circuses 1906-2016 – see: Getypte lijst Frans Wolff

-In Dordrecht found circuses 1901-2019 – see: Getypte en geschreven lijst door Peter van de Koppel

-Overviews of found circuses per country:

1883 – 1887

1892 – 1902

1904 – 1918

1919 – 1944

1945 – 1970

1971 – 2010 (part I)

1971 – 2010 (part II)

Circus books

For information about the origin of the Hartmans collections, see the ‘ORIGIN’ page.

Collection Hartmans

-Theatercollectie van het Allard Pierson: Click on “Search for Circus in the Theatercollectie” at the top of this page and choose “Bibliotheekcatalogus”.

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