Thursday, 13 December 2012

The National Fairground Archive

The National Fairground Archive at the University Library, University of Sheffield, under the leadership of Professor Vanessa Toulmin, has holdings which document fairs, circuses, menageries, magic, optical shows, etc. A subject list gives the scope of the collection, which includes 4,500 books, 250 journals titles, moving images, photographs, drawings, audio material, correspondence, diaries, cuttings, account books, maps, charts, plans, teaching materials, notebooks etc, as well as ephemera: postcards, trade and advertising material, programmes, calendars, almanacs, posters, proclamations, and 20,000 posters and handbills. There are word processed indexes (currently under revision) to each of these genres.

(C) NFA, University of Sheffield
The site includes articles, bibliographies and links to other websites and resources.

Researchers can visit in person, without an appointment Monday to Wednesday, with an appointment on Thursday.  Opening hours are posted online.

The National Fairground Archive has just launched NFA digital, with images added weekly. 19,720 images are currently online  and these can be browsed or searched by collection, period, subject, place and name. The Search tips, especially the explanations of themes and subject terms, are very helpful.

You can follow the National Fairground item on Twitter: @professorvaness

The subscription site: Victorian Popular Culture (Adam Matthew) which will be covered more thoroughly in my next post, includes material from the National Fairground Archive

(C) NFA, University of Sheffield

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