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Caroline and Erwin Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540-4730

Collection digitized? Generally, no. Selected images are included here to give a sample of the collection.

Jump to: Background | Access | Ordering Reproductions | Rights | Related Resources in the Library of Congress | Related Resources Outside the Library of Congress | Bibliography | Selected Images from the Collection


The Caroline and Erwin Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon contains 2,085 drawings, prints, and paintings related to the art of caricature, cartoon, and illustration. The collection spans the years 1780 to 1977 and includes works by 521 American and foreign artists and illustrators. Most of the images are cartoons, comic strips, and periodical illustrations drawn by American artists between 1890 and 1970.

The Swann Collection features a rich diversity of twentieth-century American and European cartoon drawings and includes images that reflect such aspects of society as political and economic conditions, social mores, employment, domestic life, families and children, relations between the sexes, and superheroes.

In the early 1960s, Erwin Swann, a New York advertising executive started collecting original cartoon drawings of artistic and humorous interest. The Swann Collection came to the Library of Congress in two installments, in 1974 and in 1977, with a fund to maintain, preserve, and develop the collection, and under an agreement whereby a space would be provided for the permanent exhibition of works from the collection and related library holdings. The Swann Gallery of Caricature & Cartoon is located opposite the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building.

The Swann Foundation, which Erwin Swann created in 1968 to promote preservation, exhibition, scholarship and publication of caricature and cartoon, was transferred from New York to the Library of Congress in 1995. The Foundation, now known as the Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, offers a fellowship to graduate students and those within three years of receiving a graduate degree, working in any field, on a topic related to caricature and cartoon. The Swann Foundation Home Page provides information on the Foundation and on the Library's activities relating to caricature and cartoon.


Apart from newly received acquisitions, a catalog record for each image is available in the Prints and Photographs Division Online Catalog (address: The online catalog is also available in the Prints and Photographs Reading Room. Some digital images display (generally only small, "thumbnail" versions will display outside the Library of Congress because of rights considerations). An unpublished checklist of items, including artists' biographies and bibliographies, is available in the P&P Reading Room.


Photographic prints or transparencies of items in the collection may be ordered through the Library of Congress Photoduplication Service, Washington, D.C., 20540-4570. Orders for copies must be accompanied by reproduction numbers for the desired images or, if no reproduction numbers exist, by call numbers for the images. Reproduction numbers and call numbers appear in catalog records for the images. Order forms, price, and order instructions will be provided on request.


All information documented by Prints and Photographs Division staff regarding publication and/or copyright claimants has been recorded in the catalog record. Use of published works created after 1923 or unpublished works created within 70 years of the artist's death may be limited by copyright restrictions. Therefore, patrons are advised to check for copyright prior to publication or other forms of distribution.

When images are reproduced in a publication, the Library requests that the reproduction number be published with the credit, as in the following example: "Library of Congress, Swann Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-111,111 [negative number]."

Related Resources in the Library of Congress

Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington DC 20540-4683

  • Erwin Swann papers, 1949-1976 (bulk 1968-1973), 10,000 items.
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4730

Selections, or in some cases, the entire holdings in the following categories are available through the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog:

Related Collections and Sources Outside the Library of Congress

Disclaimer The Library of Congress does not maintain these Internet sites. Users should direct concerns about these links to their respective site administrators or webmasters. Please read the standard disclaimer for more information.

Italian Centre for Comic Art
via Pietro Micca 4
Website for Associazione Italiana Professionisti del Fumetto (Italian Cartoonists Society):
Gianfranco Goria's compilation of web sites:

Athens Cartoon Museum
22 Liossion Street
10438 Athéna
tel: 30 1 (210) 5241 492

Bedeteca de Lisboa
Palácio do Contrador-mor
R. Cidade do Lobito, Olivais Sul
1800 Lisboa
tel: 351 (1) 218536676

Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art/Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée
Rue des Sables, 20 / Zandstraat 20
1000 Bruxelles
tel: 32 (2) 219 19 80
Email: or

Bowling Green State University Popular Culture Library
Popular Culture Library
4th floor Jerome Library
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403-0600
tel: (419) 372-2450
fax: (419) 372-7996

Cartoon Art Museum
655 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
tel: (415) CAR-TOON/(415) 227-8666

The Cartoon Museum (formerly Cartoon Art Trust)
35 Little Russell Street
London WC1A 2HH
tel: 44 (207) 580 8155

Cartoon Research Library
Ohio State University
023L Wexner
27 West 17th Avenue Mall
Columbus, OH 43210-1393
tel: (614) 292-0538
fax: (614) 292-9101

Ohio State Library's List of Manga Libraries and Museum in Japan:

British Cartoon Archive (formerly The Centre for the Study of Cartoons and Caricature)
Templeman Library
University of Kent at Canterbury
Canterbury CT2 7NU
tel: 44 (1227) 823127

Charles M. Schulz Museum
2301 Hardies Lane
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
tel: (707) 579-4452
fax: (707) 579-4436

Comic Art Collection, Michigan State University
Special Collections Division
Michigan State University Libraries
East Lansing, MI 48824-1048
tel: (517) 355-3770 (access to other research centers, especially those with comic books)

Comic Arts Collection, Virginia Commonwealth University
James Branch Cabell Library
Special Collections and Archives
901 Park Avenue
P.O. Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033
tel: (804) 828-1108
fax: (804) 828-0151

Munsterstr. 7
D-45657 Recklinghausen
tel: 49 (2361) 231 86

George Arents Research Library
Department of Special Collections
600 Bird Library
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
tel: (315) 443-2697
fax: (315) 443-2671

House of Humor and Satire
68, Bryanska St.,
P.O.Box 104
5300 Gabrovo
tel: 359 (66) 807228
fax: 359 (66) 806989 (In English)

Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center
PO Box 5236
Hoboken, NJ 07030-1510
tel: (201) 963 4383

Karikatur & Cartoon Museum
St. Alban-Vorstadt 28, Postfach
CH-4052 Basel
tel: 41 (61) 61 226 33 60

Karikatür ve Mizah Müzesi (Caricature and Cartoon Museum)
Atatürk Bulvar˙ Kovac˙lar Sokak, No:12
tel: 90 (212) 521 1264

KAMIYUBETSU CARTOON AND COMIC MUSEUM (inside of the Kamiyubetsu Culture Center TOM)
Aza Tondenshigaichi
Kamiyubetsu-cho, Mombetsu-gun
099-6592 Hokkaido

La Maison D'Ailleurs/Museum of Science Fiction
Place Pestalozzi 14, CP
1401 Yverdon-les-Bains
tel: (41) 24 425 64 38
fax: (41) 24 425 65 75

Museo de la Caricatura
Donceles, 99
Col. Centro Histórico
Mexico City C.P. 06020
52 (5) 5702 9256
fax: 52 (5) 5704 0459

Museo del Forte per la Satira e la Caricatura
Forte di Leopoldo I°
Piazza Garibaldi
Forte dei Marmi (Lucca)
tel: 39 (584) 82966

Museo Internazionale della Caricatura di Tolentino
Palazzo Sangallo
Tel. 39 (733) 969797 (In English)

Museo do Humor
Casa da Cultura.
Fonte do Campo s/n.
15500 Fene (A Coruńa)
Tel.: 34 (81) 34 14 51
fax: 34 (81) 34 24 00

Municipal Cartoon Art Museum
Bonsai-cho 150
Saitama-ken 331-0805
tel: 81 (48) 6631541
English description available here:

Musée et Salon International de la Bande Dessinée
121 Rue de Bordeaux
16000 Angoulęme
tel: 5 (45) 38 65 65 Email:

International Comic Strip Festival

Museum of Black Superheroes
(Virtual museum of African American representation in comic books.)

Museum of Cartoon & Caricature (Muzeum Karykatury)
11 Kozia
00-070 Warszawa
tel: 48 (0) 22 827 88 95
fax:+48 (0) 22 827 88 95 (In English)

Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art
594 Broadway, Suite 401
New York, NY 10012
tel: (212) 254-3511
fax: (212) 254-3590

National Archives of Canada
Canadian Museum of Caricature
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A ON3
tel: 1 (866) 578-7777
fax: 1 (613) 995-6274

National Archives of Canada
Visual Heritage Division
550 de la Cité Blvd
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0N4
fax: (819) 934-6810

The National Cartoon Museum
Stamford, CT

Het Nederlands Stripmuseum
Shoppingcentre De Westerhaven
Westerhaven 71
9718 AC Groningen
tel: 31 (50) 317 84 70

The New Zealand Cartoon Archive
Alexander Turnbull Library
P O Box 12349
tel: 64 (4) 474 3154

Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum
7-65 Mukogawa-Cho
Takarazuka City
Hyogo-Ken, 665-0844
tel: 81 (797) 81 29 70
fax: fax 81 (797) 81 36 60 (English)

The Political Cartoon Gallery
32 Store Street
London WC1E 7BS
Tel : 44 (207) 580 1114
E-mail :

South Asian Research Centre for Advertisement, Journalism & Cartoons (SARCAJC)
40 Arjun Marg. DLF Phase one
Gurgaon. Haryana-122002.INDIA
Visit by prior appointment.

Tegneseriemuseet i Danmark (Comics Museum in Denmark)
Fjorddalsvej 3
DK 4400 Kalundborg
tel. 45 (59) 55 32 20
(Museum exists as a collection and an online entity, but offers exhibitions through the Kalundborg og Omegns Museum.)

University of Florida, Suzy Covey Comic Book Collection in Special Collections
Department of Special & Area Studies Collections
P.O. Box 117007
208 Smathers Library
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
tel: (352) 273-2755
fax: (352) 846-2746

Wilhelm-Busch-Museum Deutsches Museum fur Karikatur und Kritische Grafik
Georgengarten, 3000
D-30167 Hannover
tel: 49 (511) 16 99 99 - 11 (central)
fax: 49 (511) 16 99 99 - 99
Contact form:

Words & Pictures Museum of Fine Sequential Art
136 West Street
Northampton, MA 01060
tel: (413) 586-8545
fax: (413) 586-9855

(Virtual Words and Pictures Museum, the comic book art museum, featuring online educational exhibits, research directories, etc. Has links to other museums, galleries and libraries. Warning: links have not been maintained and this site has not been updated recently.) Email:

Online Resources for Caricature and Cartoon

(Note: If you are a cartoon repository or a content provider and wish to be included on this list, please send an e-mail to:

Selected Bibliography

Masters of American comics / essay by John Carlin ; with contributions by Stanley Crouch ... [et al.] ; edited by John Carlin, Paul Karasik, and Brian Walker. Los Angeles: Hammer Museum: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press, 2005. NC1426.M34 2005 [P&P]

Amon Carter Museum of Western Art. The Image of America in Caricature & Cartoon. Fort Worth, Texas: Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, c1976. Call number: E183.A57 1976 [P & P]

Goulart, Ron, ed. The Encyclopedia of American Comics. New York: Facts on File, 1990. Call number: PN6725.E64 1990 [P&P]

Harvey, Robert C. Children of the Yellow Kid: The Evolution of the American Comic Strip. Seattle: Frye Art Museum in association with the University of Washington Press, 1998. Call number: PN6725.H38 1998 [P&P]

Katz, Harry L., ed. Cartoon America: Comic Art in the Library of Congress. New York: Abrams, 2006. NC1427.W18C37 2006 [P & P]

Katz, Harry L. and Sara W. Duke. "Cartoon-related Research at the Library of Congress." Inks: Cartoon and Comic Art Studies. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, Vol. 1, no. 1, November 1994, pp30-36. Call number: NC1320.I55 [P & P] (Note: A version of this article is available online at: Katz, Harry L. and Sara W. Duke. Featuring the Funnies: One Hundred Years of the Comic Strip. Exhibition catalog, 24pp. [Washington, D.C., Library of Congress, 1998] Call number: PN6705.U5F43 1998 Fol. [P&P]

Katz, Harry L. and Sara W. Duke. "The Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon at the Library of Congress." Inks: Cartoon and Comic Art Studies. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, Vol. 1, no. 2, May 1994, pp31-33. Call number: NC1320.I55 [P & P]

Lent, John A. Animation, Caricature, and Gag and Political Cartoons in the United States and Canada: an International Bibliography. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1994. Call number: Z5956.C3L45 1994 [P & P]

Lent, John A. Cartoonists, Works, and Characters in the United States through 2005: An International Bibliography. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 2006. Z5956.C3L456 2006 [P & P]

Lent, John A. Comic Art in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Latin America through 2000: An International Bibliography. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 2004. Z5956.C3L458 2004

Lent, John A. Comic Art of Europe through 2000: An International Bibliography. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 2003. Z5956.C3L46 2003 [P & P]

Lent, John A. Comic Art of the United States through 2000, Animation and Cartoons: An International Bibliography. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 2005. Z5956.C3L47 2005 [Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room]

Lent, John A. Comic Books and Comic Strips in the United States: an International Bibliography. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1994. Call number: Z5956.C6L46 1994 [P & P]

Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division. Drawing the Iron Curtain: Cold War Cartoons, 1946-1960: a Caroline and Erwin Swann Memorial Exhibition, May 23-August 16, 1996. [Washington, DC]: The Library, [1996]. Call number: D844.L534 1996 [P & P]

Lordan, Edward J. Politics, Ink: How America's Cartoonists Skewer Politicians, from King George III to George Dubya. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006. E183.L655 2006

O'Sullivan, Judith. The Art of the Comic Strip. [College Park]: University of Maryland. Department of Art, [1971]. Call number: NC1427.C6308 [P & P]

O'Sullivan, Judith. The Great American Comic Strip: One Hundred Years of Cartoon Art. Boston: Little, Brown, c1990. Call number: PN6725.O75 1990 [P & P]

Scott, Randall W. Comic Books and Strips: An Information Sourcebook. Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1988. Call number: Z5956.C6S37 1988 [P & P]

Walker, Brian. The Comics Before 1945. New York: H.N. Abrams, 2004. PN6725.W23 2004

Walker, Brian. The Comics Since 1945. New York: Abrams, 2002. Call number: PN6725.W25 2002

Prepared by: Maja Keech, Reference Specialist, with assistance from Sara Duke, Curator, Popular and Applied Graphic Art, 9/27/99 - updated 2008

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