May 28, 2022

Special Collections: U. of Illinois Library System Has Unique Collection Of Indian Comic Books

From the U. of Illinois News Bureau:

The artwork in the comic books would look familiar to any comic book fan. A well-muscled, green-skinned man and a Wonder Woman-type character square off against several figures with the faces of humans and bodies of snakes. There are explosions, a superhero climbing up the outside of a building and another breathing what appears to be green fire.

The comic book – written in Hindi and published by Raj Comics – is one of about 1,000 Indian comic books in the University of Illinois library system. South Asian Studies librarian Mara Thacker began collecting the comics for the University of Illinois in 2012, and its libraries now have what she believes is the largest collection of Indian comics in North America.

“We’re the only collection like this. We’re the only ones buying at this level of comprehensiveness,” Thacker said.

The comic book collection is a collaborative project between the International and Area Studies Library and the Undergraduate Library. Thacker started the collection after attending a workshop of the Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation, of which she is a member. One of the goals of the organization is for each member library to create its own area of specialization that will benefit a national collection of material and not duplicate another collection.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Learn More About the Collection in this 2013 Interview with Mara Thacker (via Glocal Notes)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.