A free public program highlighting the Circus and Allied Arts Collection will be held on Thursday, July 22, from 2-5 p.m. on the 6th floor of Illinois State University’s Milner Library. The public presentation is being held in conjunction with the Circus Historical Society’s annual conference being held in Bloomington, July 21-24.

The event will feature presentations by circus historians on the importance of Milner’s Circus and Allied Arts Collection, one of the largest special collections of its type in existence. Milner’s Special Collections area will be open for tours and attendees will also learn about the library’s digitization and preservation labs.

The Circus and Allied Arts Collection began in 1955 to document the important role the circus played in Bloomington-Normal’s history. Beginning with the ‘Flying La Vans’ in the 1880s, Bloomington produced several well-known circus aerialist acts and became a popular winter training location for circus performers. While the primary focus of the collection is circus, related arts such as carnivals, sideshows, carousels, conjuring, music halls, and vaudeville are also represented. In addition to books, the Circus and Allied Arts Collection includes photographs, circus posters, programs, route books, correspondence, business records, band scores and assorted media.

For more information on the Circus Historical Society conference visit www.circushistory.org