January 19, 2022

Ohio St. University: Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum Galleries Open to the Public on Saturday

The  Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum is part of The Ohio State University Libraries and is home to the largest collection of comic and cartoon art in the world.

From the Library’s Web Site:

We are excited to announce the opening of our museum galleries to the public on November 16, 2013. During our Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art, November 16-17, 2013, the galleries will have extended hours from 10 am to 5 pm.

The Festival of Cartoon Art begins today (November 14) and is co-sponsored by the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, University Libraries, and others.


From the Associated Press:

Today, the museum collection includes more than 300,000 original strips from everybody who’s anybody in the newspaper comics world, plus 45,000 books, 29,000 comic books and 2,400 boxes of manuscript material, fan mail and other personal papers from artists. The university says it’s the largest collection of cartoon art and artifacts in the world.

The museum has originals from everyone from Richard Outcault — whose “Yellow Kid” in a 19th century comic strip spawned the term “yellow journalism” — to Charles Schulz (“Peanuts”), classic “Pogo” story lines from Walt Kelly, Garry Trudeau’s “Doonesbury,” Chester Gould’s “Dick Tracy,” early “Blondie” strips from Chic Young and the entire collection of Jeff Smith, an Ohio State graduate who created the hugely popular “Bone” series of comic books.

It’s all been moved to a new 30,000-square-foot (nearly 2,800-square-meter) home in a high-profile corridor of the sprawling Columbus campus, into a space renamed for Ireland, the former editorial cartoonist for The Columbus Dispatch who was one of the pioneers of the art form. His family donated a big chunk of money for the project.

From ColumbusAlive.com

The Ohio State University’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum was established (then named Milton Caniff Reading Room) in 1977 under modest circumstances. With a founding donation by alumnus Caniff, best known as creator of the seminal comic strip “Terry and the Pirates,” it was originally a mere two converted classrooms.


The previous 6,800-square-feet space was located in a basement and unfortunately under recognized. For the most part the public, and even Ohio State students, were unaware of its existence. The archival space couldn’t even house all of the artwork, using offsite storage.

Read the Complete Article, View Images of the Facility

A Selection of Online Resources from the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.