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See You In The Funny Papers

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"Caricature Wielding her Lash" by Honore Daumier
"Caricature Wielding Her Lash" by Honore Daumier

There are many avenues of research at the Library of Congress.

Some are a laugh riot!

Take, for example, the vast collections of cartoons and caricature in the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division. For more than a century, the Library has collected pictorial humor  – collections that range from a lifetime’s worth of cartoons by the late Washington Post political cartoonist Herb Block (“Herblock”) to more than 20,000 original cartoons by generations of America’s best cartoonists

There are also historical cartoons from such giants as 19th-century French artist Honoré Daumier (see above) to early American Paul Revere; arrays amassed by individuals, from Jack Kapp’s collection dealing with the sound-recording industry (including art by such figures as Rube Goldberg and Gluyas Williams – these are found in the Library’s Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division) to the Caroline and Erwin Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon, which records the development of U.S. newspaper funnies.

To explore the many ways that the pen has proven mightier than the sword at the Library of Congress – or at least, funnier – click here.

Comments (3)

  1. Thanks for the awesome information on cartoons and political caricatures. I love them! However, I was wondering if you could answer a question. If I find a caricature from your library, what are the publishing guidelines? Am I allowed to copy and publish any of these cartoons to say my blog? Is this information fall under the public domain category?


    Daniel Tetreault.
    Victoria, BC.

  2. It looks very charming!! I wanna go!!

  3. Mr. Tetreault, the fact that an item is in our collections does not necessarily mean that it is in the public domain; please see our “rights and restrictions” page at However, many items in our collections are public-domain, and if you look at the page listed above by name of creator or look closely at the bibliographic information on the page for the individual cartoon, its rights status should be listed. If, after checking those resources, you still have questions, we offer a service called “Ask a Librarian” that can be accessed at .

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