Document Type


Publication Title

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions World Library and Information Conference

Publication Date



metadata, linked data, digital humanities, open data, GIS data, maps, circus, circus route books


The presentation will discuss the final phase of the 4-year project Step Right Up: Digitizing Over 100 Years of Circus Route Books made possible by the Digitizing Hidden Collections program, a national grant competition administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources and supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This segment of the project concentrated on making data open and reusable to aid in optimal discoverability and create data relationships with the collection. The culmination of these efforts resulted in the digital humanities project, Agency through Otherness: Portraits of Performers in Circus Route Books 1875-1925. This exhibition explores identities of circus performers and features essays, images, interactive timelines, and map data visualizations of circus routes with Native Lands, historical railroads, and population data.

The presentation will focus on how this project reached beyond traditional cataloging and metadata techniques to new tools to provide access to the collection. The project also exemplifies how sharing data and open data can allow others to build new knowledge in imaginative ways to foster engagements and digital inclusion.

Funding Source

Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)


The presentation was given at the 2022 IFLA WLIC (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions World Library and Information Conference).



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.