SAA is fortunate to have the opportunity to visit the Circus World Archive at the Robert L. Parkinson Library in Baraboo, WI. Pete Shrake, the “lone arranger” and SLIS alum, is graciously giving SAA a tour of the archive on Saturday, Oct.29th! It’s also Halloween weekend, so wear your costume if you want! Info about the trip is below, but keep an eye on your email for further details and a sign up sheet.

“Circus World’s Robert L. Parkinson Library and Research Center is the world’s foremost research facility for circus history. The holdings document the history of the American circus from its inception in 1793 to the present day.”-Circus World Site

What do they have?

  • Rare Photographs and Negatives from the 1850s – Present.
  • Film
  • Original Music Compositions, Arrangements and Handwritten Manuscript.
  • Thousands of Journals, Manuscripts and Business Records. Exceptional Collection of Circus Ads and Posters
  • Instruments, wagons, tent tops, props, costumes, etc. A huge collection of ephemera and physical artifacts.

This is a great opportunity to see the wide range of objects and artifacts with which an archivist could potentially work, plus Pete is awesome and is the epitome of a rock star lone arranger. He’s very busy, but he’s made time for us on a Saturday. It’s a one of a kind place, so don’t miss your chance to see behind the scenes. Learn more about Circus World here.  See a few pictures from last year below.


We will meet on campus (place TBD) at 9:45am. It takes about an hour to get to Baraboo. We’ll arrive at 11am. We’ll have 2 hours to tour the archive (it may not last the full 2 hours). We can either eat lunch in Baraboo or head back to Madison, that depends on the car and those you carpool with.
For rides: Some of us have cars, some of us need rides. If you have a car and are willing to take others, please indicate on the sign-up sheet (forthcoming in an email). If you need a ride, sign up for a spot in someones car.










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