19 August 2015

National Fairground Archive

Yesterday, I found an incredible resource during some random googling of circus-related terms. Frankly, I'm regularly amazed at what I can find with google and a little time; this archive has not come up during any of my searches for sideshows. I found a photo of a knife-throwing family on a blog--they credited the National Fairground Archive, which I'd not heard of before.

This is photo postcard is a souvenir of Princess Cristina's show--and that is Cristina, in the long robes. I've only seen two or three photos of Cristina in the past, and I don't believe she ever toured the U.S. So, she's not in my area of immediate interest for the essay project, but I was still really thrilled to find a vintage tattooed-woman postcard I've not seen before!

The National Fairground Archive is affiliated with the University of Sheffield, and theirs is a free, open resource. Many of their photographs are from the 1960s through the early 1980s, so there are a lot of wonderfully garish, vintage color photos of carnivals and fairs there.

Like this Paul Angel photograph, taken in 1987 at the Durdham Downs Easter Fair. I don't know why this fish-themed ride would be called the Polyp, but this photograph is delicious. LOL.

I haven't done much investigating of the archive yet, but I love the chance to share a new resource for circus, carnival, and fair-related photography. The fact that they allow printing and downloading of the images is incredibly generous, too.

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