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Collection Cartoon Drawings

About this Collection

Offers more than 9,000 original drawings for editorial cartoons, caricatures, and comic strips spanning the late 1700s to the present, primarily from 1880 to 1980. The cartoons cover people and events throughout the world, but most of the images were intended for publication in American newspapers and magazines.

Scope | Cartoonists | Cartoons by Type

Scope of the Cartoon Drawings

"I won the Nobel Prize for literature. What was your crime?" Bill Mauldin, artist, October 30, 1958.

The Library acquired most of the drawings as gifts from the artists or their heirs and continues to add to the collection.

The subject matter depicted in the cartoons ranges widely, from accidents to zebras, with plentiful coverage of civil rights, international relations, presidential elections, taxes, and wars. For a list of the diverse subjects, see Subjects

Cartoonists Represented in the Collection

For researchers interested in specific cartoonists, a full list of the more than 700 represented artists is available in the alphabetical Creator/Related Name Index. Many Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonists are represented. Cartoonists with more than 100 drawings in the collection include the following:

Smaller groups of drawings also offer vivid visual commentaries by diverse artists. For example, thirty-nine drawings by Iranian political cartoonist Ardeshir Muhassis [view records and images], produced in exile during the late 1970s, take a devastatingly ironic look at life for the common people in Iran during the final years of the reign of Shah Reza Pahlavi.

Searching for Cartoons by Type

For researchers interested in specific types of cartoons, the following narrower terms have been used in indexing items in the Cartoon Drawings filing series:

For suggestions on searching for cartoons throughout the Prints and Photographs Division holdings, see: "Resources for the Study of Caricature and Cartoon."