250,000 circus items donated to Illinois State University

Original poster art for Sparks Circus used to promote the circus. The item is part of a donation by Herbert Ueckert to the Circus and Allied Arts Collection at Milner Library. Illinois State University image

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) – Illinois State University’s famed Circus Collection just got a lot bigger thanks to a Florida man who has been collecting circus memorabilia for decades.

The school says in a news release that Herbert Ueckert of Sarasota has donated more than 250,000 items to the collection housed at Milner Library on the campus in Normal. The items include everything from clown props, performers’ costumes, and candid and publicity photographs to original sketches of professional circus posters.

Ueckert says he decided to donate his collection to the school’s Circus and Allied Arts Collection – one of the largest special collections of its kind in the world – after conducting his own research of the facility and meeting with the collection’s staff.

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