According to, Illinois State University’s Milner Library is doing a tremendous service for devotees of the “Greatest Show on Earth” and “making more than 300 circus route books available online.”

This shouldn’t be a surprise. For years, the Milner Library has curated and preserved an impressive Circus and Allied Arts Collection including “trapeze fly bars, leotards, thousands of promotional posters and over 10,000 brightly colored Kodachrome slides of performers,” not to mention 300 circus route books dating from 1842 to 1969.  

Now, the library has received a $268,000 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources to fund a three-year project that will digitize these books and “ensure that circus history is preserved for future generations.”

(Thanks to John Riley of Gabriel Books for providing ATG Quirkies)