With the debut of the modern traveling circus in the early 1800s, circus posters became crucial for drawing crowds to what were only one or two performances per location. Many early ads were simple woodblock prints mentioning the name of the circus, the price of admission, and a few acts (often pre-printed images with custom text). Later, in the early 20th century, colorful, fanciful custom designs of leaping animals, clowns, and ringmasters became standard for circus posters.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Circusmuseum.nl

Circusmuseum.nl

Step right up and check out almost 8,000 beautiful circus posters, photos and prints. Assembled by longtime Dutch c… [read review or visit site]

London Transport Museum Posters

London Transport Museum Posters

A must-see collection of 5,000 vivid, colorful British posters from the early 1900s onward. Browse by artist (over … [read review or visit site]

Fillmore and Avalon Collection

Fillmore and Avalon Collection

Wish you'd visited San Francisco in the late 1960s? Get a quick hit with this comprehensive collection of psychedel… [read review or visit site]

USSR Posters

USSR Posters

Ben Perry's Flickr photoset showcasing almost 1500 Soviet propaganda, advertising, theatre and movie posters from 1… [read review or visit site]

New York Public Library

New York Public Library

The New York Public Library's impressive Digital Gallery offers free access to over 500,000 historical images inclu… [read review or visit site]

The American Memory Project

The American Memory Project

This amazing Library of Congress site includes about a hundred photo and document collections (see complete list) o… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage 1950 Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster Lion & Tiger Act RareSinger's Midgets Circus Poster 1933 Elephants Bowling Green, Ky Date Tag Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster Hartford 7/5/44 Date Tag Fire DateHagenbeck Wallace Circus Poster "poodles Hanneford Family' 1930's One SheetHagenbeck - Wallace Circus Poster "davenport Riding Troupe" Linen Erie 1 SheetVintage Original Sells-floto & John Robinson's Circus 1/2-sheet Poster W/dtOscar Lowande's Circus Poster 1907 Donaldson Litho Linen Mount One SheetCole & Rogers Circus Poster 1928 Elephant Act Erie Litho One Sheet Nice ImageDan Rice Circus Poster 1930's "january Mule Act" Riverside One Sheet Circa 1910Russell Bros. Circus Poster 1930's Reb Russell Cowboy & Rebel One SheetMonty Python 1976 Tour Poster City Center New York City Flying Circus Monty Python 1973 Promo Tour Poster First Farewell Tour Flying Circus Monty Python 1974 Promo Poster Flying Circus On Cblt Tv TorontoVintage Original Clyde Beatty & Cole Bros. Circus Poster W/okc Date Tail NrFoujita Art Deco Nude Woman Circus Lion Tamer Exhibition Poster Print Listed S/mVtg Amvets Flying Tigers Air Circus Poster Air Show Tonawanda Ny 1946 Or 1957Jw-old Poster Stamp-onnes Thee-circus-tennis-acrobats1916 Ringling Bros And Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster Giant ConsolidationVintage, Antique P. T. Barnum Broadside Advertising Circus Poster Norwich Vintage Original Clyde Beatty & Cole Bros. Circus Poster NrOrig 1943 W War 2 American Bond,ringling,barnum,bailey Circus Poster,22"x28",vg Vtg Orig 1970s Ringling Bros Barnum Bailey Circus PosterUs Scott#4898-4905 2014 Vintage Circus Poster 16 Stamps(forever Stamp Sheet)minRare 1860 Van Amburgh Circus Poster Mammoth Menagerie Animals Exhibition Look!Circus Poster Lot Of 3Rare " Mills Bros. Circus " Heavy Cardboard Photograph Poster (1953) 14" X 22"Vintage Giant ! Circus Poster. 66" X 42"James Brothers Circus Poster Palo Alto California 1965