O’Beirne Collection

Thomas O'Beirne

Ref: NFA0146

Title: O’Beirne Collection

Scope: This collection contains amateur Super8 cine reels filmed by Thomas O’Beirne, black and white and colour photographs and slides, circus and theatre posters, a watercolour and a small amount of other ephemera.

Dates: 1950-1975
Level: Fonds
Extent: 2 Super8 cine reels, 76 photographs and slides, 82 posters and 1 framed watercolour
Name of creator: Thomas O’Beirne

Administrative / biographical history: Thomas O’Beirne (1910-1975) was born in Glasgow. He was a mechanical engineer by trade, owning and running A. Cockburn & Co., a safety valve company.

His personal interests and passions included writing, public speaking, film making, theatre, music, book collecting, magic and circus, to name a few and developed an interest in collecting circus memorabilia, books, posters and the occasional artwork. Tom also wrote two books; one on Hengler’s Circus and one on the Panopticon, these were never published as Tom died before he could make it happen, but the manuscripts can be found at the Mitchell Library in his native Glasgow.

Tom was an avid circus goer and travelled around Great Britain and Ireland visiting shows with his family and took photographs and film of performers. Tom was a member of the Circus Friends Association.

Related Collections: CFA Collection
Source: Donated by Mrs Pat E. Milligan and Alec O'Beirne daughter and son of Thomas O'Beirne
System of arrangement: Catalogued according to type
Subjects: Circus, Performers, Travelling Entertainment, Variety and Music Hall, Transport, Steam Preservation, Animal Acts, Fixed Entertainment Venues, Americana
Conditions of access: Items are available to view by appointment in the NFA reading room
Restrictions: None
Copyright: Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of National Fairground and Circus Archive, subject to copyright law and condition of the material.
Finding aids: Photographs available on NFA Digital. Online finding aid available here