|Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one series. Items are arranged alphabetically by artist's last name, and then chronologically.
Dennis B. Ryan began collecting cartoons in the early 1980s, ultimately focusing on cartons related to moments and topics of significance in American history, or on topics of personal interest.
The collection consists almost entirely of the original artwork created for editorial cartoons that were printed in newspapers or magazines in the United States. There are a few items that include clippings, drafts, or other material, and these are noted in the container list. The vast majority of the artworks are in black and white; items in color are noted in the container list.
Ryan also kept small slips of paper with available information about the cartoons – name, caption, topic or event, size of the image, date, and the name of the publication – with most of the items in the collection. These slips of paper are usually only slight larger than the line of type: some have been lost over time. Where available, all existing slips for items in a box were retained in one folder in the box. The collection was also appraised at one point, and the appraiser's description of topics frequently differs from the collector's description. Description of individual items in the container list primarily follows the collector's description, but includes additional information gathered from the items and other sources where it was available.
The collection includes cartoons related to civil rights, the Cold War, drugs, elections, economic issues, energy, foreign affairs, government, labor, politics and political figures, Prohibition, the space program, sports, and women's rights, as well as pieces related to specific events. The collection also includes cartoons related to wars and conflicts, including the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War, as well as conflicts in Afghanistan, Asia, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, and Libya.
The collection also includes memorials for a wide variety of persons, including cartoons printed following the deaths of Fred Astaire, Jack Benny, Edgar Bergen, Irving Berlin, Alexander Calder, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Gerald Ford, Judy Garland, Jim Henson, Herbert Hoover, J. Edgar Hoover, J.P. Morgan, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lennon, Richard Nixon, Laurence Olivier, Elvin Presley, Jackie Robinson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jack Ruby, Joseph Stalin, Harry Truman, Malcolm X, John Wayne, and Alvin York.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
This collection is located on-site.
Three oversized items in the collection require repair work and cannot be used until such repairs are done. These items are noted in the container list.
Many items in single folders, particularly in Boxes 56 and 61, are fragile. These are usuable but need to be handled with care.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Dennis Ryan Editorial Cartoon Collection; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
2014.2015.M050: Source of acquisition--Dennis Ryan. Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--10/3/2014.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
This collection was processed by Catherine C. Ricciardi and Francesca Carlos (Barnard College, 2019) in 2017-2018.
Finding aid written by Catherine C. Ricciardi in October 2018.
2018-09-07 File created.
2018-10-05 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2021-08-10 CCR added two items to the container list that were on exhibit at the time of processing; Valtman and Wallmeyer.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Dennis B. Ryan worked as a stockbroker, and began collecting cartoons in the early 1980s. He ultimately gathered a collection of over 2000 original editorial cartoons that capture important moments and topics in American history.