About Us

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum houses the world’s largest collection of materials related to cartoons and comics, including original art, books, magazines, journals, comic books, archival materials, and newspaper comic strip pages and clippings.

In this video, Curator Jenny Robb gives a brief overview of the museum.

Join Head Curator Jenny Robb and Associate Curator Caitlin McGurk as they take you on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum (BICLM) at The Ohio State University. Hear from special guests including Gene Luen Yang, Laura Park, Art Spiegelman, Garry Trudeau, Mo Willems, Raina Telgemeier, Barbara Brandon-Croft, Hilary Price and Bill Watterson as they examine some of the many treasures housed at the BICLM! This video was originally presented as part of Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) 2020.

Mission Statement

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum inspires the study and appreciation of cartoon and comics art. As a cultural heritage center, we collect, preserve and make accessible materials that represent a diversity of voices for research, teaching, exhibitions, and educational programming.


The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum was established in 1977 in two converted classrooms in the Journalism Building with the founding gift of artwork and papers of alumnus Milton Caniff. Its collections of original art and manuscripts have been built primarily through gifts-in-kind.

The library has had several former names: Milton Caniff Reading Room, 1977; Library for Communication and Graphic Arts; Cartoon, Graphic, and Photographic Arts Research Library; Cartoon Research Library, 1989; Cartoon Library and Museum, July 2009; and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, September 2009.

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is now the largest and most comprehensive academic research facility documenting printed cartoon art. Administratively it is part of Ohio State University Libraries.


Current holdings include more than:

  • 300,000 original cartoons
  • 45,000 books
  • 67,000 serials and comic books
  • 6,300 boxes of archival materials
  • 2.5 million comic strip clippings


  • Unique collections of original art and manuscript materials including among others, the Nick Anderson Collection, the Jim Borgman Collection, the Eldon Dedini Collection, the Edwina Dumm Collection, the Will Eisner Collection, the Woody Gelman Collection of Winsor McCay cartoons, the Walt Kelly Collection, the Toni Mendez Collection, and the Bill Watterson Deposit Collection
  • International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection containing more than 200,000 original cartoons. The collection was acquired in the summer of 2008 from the museum which was founded by Beetle Bailey creator Mort Walker
  • San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, acquired from its director, Bill Blackbeard, in 1998. This gives the library the largest collection of newspaper comic strip tear sheets and clippings in the world. Search the on-line finding aid at Guide to the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection
  • Jay Kennedy Collection of more than 9,500 underground comic books, one of the most extensive in the world
  • Archival professional records including the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, National Cartoonists Society, Newspaper Features Council, and Cartoonists Guild
  • Biographical registry of cartoonists containing files for more than 5,000 cartoonists and clipping files organized by cartoon-related subjects
  • Extensive collection of Japanese comics known as manga. Visit the Ohio State University Libraries manga blog.


Our library promotes the study and appreciation of cartoon art by sponsoring a variety of educational programs and publications including exhibitions, catalogs, lectures, seminars, panel discussions, workshops and conferences. Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) held annually is a multi-day event that celebrates and promotes the craft of cartooning and attracts participants from around the world.


Because this is an archival facility, items from its collections are available only on site. None may be borrowed for personal use outside the reading room and the library’s stacks are closed to browsers. Tours of the stacks are available by appointment.  Researchers should contact cartoons@osu.edu to schedule an appointment and are strongly encouraged to supply a list of materials in advance. No photography (including videotaping) is permitted in the library without prior permission.

  • Search the Ohio State University Libraries on-line catalog of published works and manuscript collections at the Ohio State University Library.
  • A searchable database of portions of the The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum’s collection of original art is available at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum Art Database.
  • Finding aids for some of the collections, including the Cartoon Subject and Topic Files, are located under Collections
  • Images of some of the collection are available for viewing in Digital Collections.
  • Educational resources relating to the history of printed cartoons and digital albums of the library’s treasures are accessible on our website.


JENNY ROBB, Head Curator of Comics and Cartoon Art & Associate Professor
WENDY PFLUG, Curator of Collections & Associate Professor
CAITLIN McGURK, Curator of Comics and Cartoon Art & Associate Professor
ANNE DROZD, Museum Coordinator
SUSAN LIBERATOR, Associate Manager, Library Public Services
KRISTY ARTER, Administrative Coordinator
ANN LENNON, Project Archivist
EMMA HALM, Public Services and Digitization Coordinator
HANNAH KRAMER, Library Public Services Assistant