Photographs 394 views
Clothing - The Barnum Museum 227 views
Souvenirs - The Barnum Museum 173 views
Advertisements - Barnum Museum 169 views
Manuscripts - The Barnum Museum 163 views
Paintings - The Barnum Museum 157 views
Equipment - The Barnum Museum 150 views
Prints - The Barnum Museum 136 views
Books - Barnum Museum 133 views
Newspapers: The Barnum Museum 117 views
About This Collection
- The advertisements sub-collection includes a wide range of material, from colorful posters to handbills, broadsides, and couriers. While many of the items pertain to Barnum’s circus enterprises, some pre-date that time and relate to the era of his American Museum, including General Tom Thumb’s (Charles S. Stratton) tours.
- The Books and Booklets sub-collection contains a variety of souvenir booklets about Barnum’s performers as well as several editions of his History of Animals, and a rare guidebook to the American Museum. Also included are two early circus route books, and beautifully illustrated children’s books. Material pertaining to Barnum’s life and death includes illustrations from his autobiography, a booklet concerning his religious beliefs, his Will and Codicils, and a biographical piece written by his widow. Where “covers only” are indicated in the record title, a complete example of a similar item can be found in the P. T. Barnum Digital Collection.
- The Clothing sub-collection contains many garments and accessories Charles S. Stratton (General Tom Thumb), M. Lavinia Warren (Stratton's wife), and Lavinia's sister Minnie Warren, who were all little people. Items in the collection range from jackets and suits to a fur cape, a nightgown, and corset. Clothing worn by P. T. Barnum, including a top hat he purchased in his twenties, is also part of this collection.
- The Decorative Arts sub-collection includes ceramics, textile items, silver, and mixed medium items such as mantelpiece clocks and candlesticks. Some were mass-produced to satisfy popular crazes, such as the Lind-mania for Jenny Lind items, and later, Jumbo-mania, while others were expensive, custom-made items. Examples from Barnum’s porcelain dinner service, and the gilt tea service he acquired in France are included. A decorative architectural element from his home Iranistan, the only such item saved after the fire, is also in the collection.
- The Documents sub-collection includes various financial and legal documents like bank checks, banknotes, receipts, bill of sale, a deed, and contracts. It also includes a petition, an award, a marriage certificate and marriage notice, and a phrenology chart. Most of the items pertain to P. T. Barnum and his family, while a few relate to Charles S. Stratton (General Tom Thumb), his wife M. Lavinia Warren, and others.
- The Equipment sub-collection is diverse in content with items ranging in size from carriages down to a thimble. The miniature carriages of Charles S. Stratton (General Tom Thumb) and George Washington Morrison Nutt (Commodore Nutt) are included, as is a nautical compass and spyglass used by Stratton on his yacht, and a riding crop, pony harness that belonged to him. The miniature thimble belonged to Stratton’s wife, M. Lavinia Warren.