Background about Ohio State Cartoon Library & Museum
Ohio State Cartoon Library & Museum's primary mission is to develop
a comprehensive research collection of materials documenting American
printed cartoon art (editorial cartoons, comic strips, comic
books, graphic novels, sports cartoons, and magazine cartoons)
and to provide access to these collections. The library does not
collect materials about animation.
Ohio State Cartoon Library & Museum (formerly the Ohio State Cartoon Library & Museum) was established in 1977 in two converted classrooms in the Journalism Building with the gifts-in-kind
of the Milton Caniff Collection and the Jon Whitcomb
Collection. The largest single gift-in-kind to date is the
Robert Roy Metz Collection of 83,034 original cartoons
by 113 cartoonists. It was appraised at $9.1 million and donated
by United Media in 1992. The Cartoon Research Library is currently the largest and most comprehensive
academic research facility documenting printed cartoon art in
the United States. Administratively it is one of five
special collections libraries that are part of Ohio State University
Libraries. The library moved to its current state-of-the-art quarters
Current holdings include more than 400,000 graphic materials,
including 240,000 original cartoons; more than 20,000 books; more
than 13,000 serial titles; and more than 2,800 linear feet of
manuscript materials. The papers of Milton Caniff, the Walt Kelly
Collection, the Robert Roy Metz Collection, the Woody Gelman Collection
of Winsor McCay cartoons, and the Will Eisner Collection are the
most notable cartoon art collections. Archival collections related
to the profession of cartooning include the records of or the
Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, the National Cartoonists
Society, and the Newspaper Features Council, as well as extensive
files on more than 3,000 cartoonists; and the library also maintains
a clipping file organized by cartoon related topics.
The collections of the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art were
acquired from its director, Bill Blackbeard, in 1998. The addition
of these materials gives the library the largest
collection of newspaper comic strip tear sheets and clipping files
in the world. With the support of the Getty Grant
Program, these materials are being cataloged and archived.
International materials related to printed cartoons are collected
when possible. The Cartoon Research Library includes a large collection
of manga which
have been obtained through purchases and gifts. The Japan Foundation
endorsed this initiative through a 1998 Library Support Program
grant for acquisitions.
The library has been active in supporting programming related
to cartoon art by mounting numerous exhibits on campus, lending
for exhibits elsewhere, and hosting seminars, workshops, and conferences.
of Cartoon Art has been held triennially since 1983 and attracts
participants from around the world.
Exhibits in the reading room gallery highlight treasures from
its collections and are changed on a quarterly basis. Several
exhibition catalogues are available for purchase.
library also holds collections of more than 125,000 film posters
and stills, and The Ohio State University's collections of photographs.
The Richard E. Teichert Collection documents the silent film era
while the Philip Sills Collection covers the period from 1927
to 1964. The Rico Long Collection features press books from
Ohio State University's collections of photographs are available
here. Of special importance is the Floyd and Marion
Rinhart Collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century images.
Other collections include Farm Security Administration photographs,
dye transfer prints by Harry Callahan, and work by Bernice Abbott,
Harold Edgerton, Anne Noggle, Aaron Siskind, and Weegee (Arthur
Fellig). The Ohio News Photographers Collection represents
the best of photojournalism achieved by Ohioans each year.
In addition to the Jon Whitcomb Collection, the history of magazine
illustration is documented by the Will Rannells Collection.
A small but interesting variety of posters, especially
those issued during the two world wars, is available.
it is an archival facility, items from the library's collections
are available only at the library. None may be borrowed for personal
use outside the reading room. The library's stacks are closed.
Tours of the stacks are available with special advance appointments.
The library's holdings are described in OSCAR,
Ohio State University Libraries' Web accessible catalog, where
they are identified by the Cartoon Research Library's code of
CGA. A database of original cartoons and paper finding aids are
available in the reading room.
are encouraged to make advance arrangements prior to visiting
the library. The library may be visited on the web at lib.ohio-state.edu/cgaweb/.