P.T. Barnum Collection

P. T. Barnum Fountain, Bethel, Conn.

The Bethel Public Library has an extensive P. T. Barnum collection on permanent display! 

This collection has been generously donated by Laurence Gibson and Cynthia NeJame, who carefully and lovingly curated numerous important letters and correspondences which highlight significant personal and pivotal events of the great showman’s life. Also included are rare broadsides, photographs, and cartes-de-visite, as well as artifacts from General Tom Thumb, Jenny Lind and Commodore Nutt.

This collection is dedicated to P.T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman on Earth and the people of Bethel, so that children of all ages might share in his cultural contributions, along with wisdom and wit. The Exhibit opened on June 25, 2016, with an open house reception.

Much of the collection is also viewable online through the Connecticut Digital Archive, available here