Purdue Circus photographs
Collection — Box: Communal Collections 47, Placement: 17
Identifier: MSP 226
Scope and Contents
The Purdue Circus photographs (May 5, 1916) documents the 1916 Purdue Circus festivities. Though circus-related events ran throughout the day and into the evening, the sixteen (16) photographs included on the two scrapbook pages in this collection -- taken by Purdue Pharmacy student Merritt Tam -- only document the parade through downtown Lafayette on the morning of May 5, 1916. The photographs depict mostly clowns and student groups, both walking and riding in floats or carriages. Also included is one photograph of an early U.S. military armored automobile.
- May 5, 1916
- Tam, Merritt Ward, 1894 - 1956 (Photographer, Person)
Language of Materials
Collection material is in English.
Collection is open for research.
Copyright and Use Information
Material is in the public domain. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.
The Purdue Circus was part of the end-of-the-year celebrations for Purdue students during the early 20th century. Running from 1913-1916 and again from 1921-1922, the day-long Purdue Circus festivities featured a parade in the morning which included various student groups, clowns, and circus animals. Sideshows ran alongside May Day celebrations (which were primarily run and attended by women) followed by a larger circus performance in the evening. The evening performance featured attractions such as gymnasts and tumblers, tight-rope walkers, rented circus animals, clown football, and comedy routines. In 1917, as the U.S. entered WWI in Europe, the Purdue Circus was cancelled, only to be revived for two years following the end of the war before being abandoned altogether.
0.025 Cubic Feet (One folder)
Collection donated by Nannette Huffman, March 16, 2014.
The original order of the materials has been retained whenever possible. All materials have been housed in acid-free folders and acid-free boxes.
- Purdue Circus photographs
- Stephen Horrocks, Richard Bernier
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Edition statement
- Second edition. Collection description was first completed in 5/10/2017 by Stephen Horrocks. Description was modified on 10/28/2019 by By Richard Bernier.
- 2019-10-28: This collection description was updated by Richard Bernier to meet new requirements.