This project has ended. If you would like to make a gift, please write "Circus Collection Hatch" in the Gift Notes section when you make a gift through this link: 

Milner Library’s Ueckert Circus Wardrobe Collection

Three costumes from Gamma Phi Circus history
Raised toward our $4,000 Goal
19 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 22, at 12:00 AM CST
Project Owners

Milner Library’s Ueckert Circus Wardrobe Collection

An anonymous donor has been inspired by the collective support of this project and will contribute $500 once we reach $3,500! This second challenge gift will help us meet our initial project goal of raising enough funds to purchase one mannequin and accessories.

Milner Library’s Special Collections department is home to the nationally prominent Circus and Allied Arts Collection, one of the largest of its kind.

Recently, Milner Library was gifted the stunning Ueckert Circus Wardrobe Collection consisting of more than 2,000 pieces of clothing and accessories dating from the 1880s to the 1980s. Milner Library wants to make the wardrobe pieces accessible to students, faculty, staff, and the wider community. To do that, the library needs male and female museum-quality mannequins and accessories to display them properly. While the initial goal of this project is to purchase a single museum-quality mannequin with accessories, the long-term target is to be able to purchase at least two mannequins with accessories (at least one male, one female). This would allow us to display more of these beautiful costumes within the library and beyond while preserving their delicate and ornate details.

Faculty and students in the Departments of History, Family and Consumer Sciences, the School of Theatre and Dance, and many more academic units use the collections in their coursework, classrooms, and research. Beyond the Illinois State community, anyone who is researching or has an interest in American circus history will also benefit from the library's ability to display wardrobe items.

Your gift today will help us toward our goal of increasing access to these beautiful and historically significant pieces. 

Choose a giving level


Your name in lights

Donors of $50 or more will have their names displayed on Milner's digital acknowledgment screen (unless giving is anonymous).


Social shout-out

Contribute $100+ and you'll receive a shout-out on the Milner Library social media accounts! Your name will also be displayed on the digital acknowledgment board in the library. (With your permission)


Video preview

You will receive a video preview of the Milner Circus Collection, a social media shout-out, and your name on the digital acknowledgment display at the library.


You're invited...

You will receive an invitation to a special virtual Q&A event with Special Collections. In addition, you'll receive the video preview, social shout-out, and name on the Milner Library digital acknowledgment board.


After show

In addition to all the other perks, donors at this level will receive an exclusive personal tour of the circus collection (virtual or in-person).

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