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Holland Circus Collection

Identifier: M550

Scope and Contents

The contents of this collection consist of family photos, circus photos, correspondence, and church materials from the Holland family.


  • Creation: circa 1880s-1940s


Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

George F. Holland was born January 25, 1850 in Delavan Wisconsin. George Holland was the son of John Holland, the founder of the Holland family circus. The Holland family circus began circa 1850s and lasted several generations. George Holland was an acrobat and rider and worked in the family business with his two brothers John and Edward. George Holland married Katherine Holloway in 1872 and performed together until they retired in 1910. George and Katherine worked for some of the largest circuses of the time such as, Dan Rice’s, Burr Robbins, John Robinson’s, Sells-Floto and Holland participated in two circus partnerships. The first partnership was with brothers Charles, Edward and John McMahon thus creating the Holland-McMahon railroad circus. The second partnership was called Holland and Gormley Allied Railroad Circus which toured for two years and George and Katherine retired shortly after the conclusion of that show. The Holland family was inducted into the International Circus Hall of Fame in 1980 for their contributions to the circus community that spanned multiple generations.


.50 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



Contains photographs and memorabilia from the Holland circus family.


The contents of the collection were arranged alphabetically based on the folder title.


Donated by Charles McCoy on 12/16/2016.

Related Materials

Related collections held at the University of Southern Mississippi:

• M329 Circus, Minstrel and Traveling Show Collection

• M169 Railroad Collection


Biographical information obtained from the case file.

Holland Circus Collection
Collection processed and finding aid written by Amanda Abulawi
June 17, 2019
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001