Donating Materials

Our collection has been built primarily through donations from generous cartoonists, collectors, and fans. If you are interested in making a donation, please contact us at or 614-292-0538.

What We Collect

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum collects materials related to printed cartoon art including the following genres:

  • Comic books
  • Comic strips
  • Editorial cartoons
  • Graphic novels
  • Magazine cartoons
  • Sports cartoons

Although we collect some animation materials, this is not our primary focus.

Types of Materials We Collect

  • Books about cartooning and cartoonists
  • Books containing cartoons or cartoon illustrations
  • Periodicals containing, about or related to printed cartoons
  • Original art
  • Manuscript collections related to cartoonists and the business of cartooning including correspondence, business records, scrapbooks, ephemera, clippings and proof sheets.

Preservation & Access

We are a special collection with particular emphasis on the long-term preservation of all the materials accepted into our collection. Therefore, our materials do not circulate outside the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum except as exhibition loans to other institutions. Access to all of our collections is available for researchers, scholars, students, and members of the public in our supervised reading room. Materials are stored in closed stacks in our climate-controlled facility which is protected by an electronic security system.

Tax Benefits

Gifts to The Ohio State University are considered charitable contributions. The fair market value of donated materials (gifts-in-kind) is tax-deductible in most cases. One exception is that artists are currently prohibited by law from deducting the fair market value when donating their own artwork. Please consult your tax advisor for advice on charitable deductions. Information is also available at Internal Revenue Service.

Caring for Your Collection

After your collection is donated, our team handles everything from cleaning and processing to conservation and proper storage. From there, we bring your materials to scholars, students, and the public – which means cataloging, digitizing, and identifying the best ways to share your collection. Your materials could support student projects, help faculty conduct research, or inform and inspire the community. The challenge? Depending on the size of the collection, it can take weeks or even months to inventory and catalog it. Secure climate-controlled storage facilities and archival materials are needed to ensure the long-term health of our collections. Digitizing materials requires additional time, equipment, and specially trained staff, as do collection management and exhibition services.

Cartoon Library & Museum friends like you make this possible. Many of our supporters pair a financial gift with their donated materials. These gifts allow us to provide the care and attention your collections deserve, so they can be preserved and shared for generations.


Curators and librarians of The Ohio State University Libraries cannot provide appraisals for materials offered as gifts-in-kind because the Internal Revenue Service regards the Libraries as an interested party to such contributions. In general, an appraisal is not necessary for gifts-in-kind valued at less than $5,000 by the donor. Additional information on appraisals and qualified appraisers is included in Internal Revenue Service Form 8283 which must be filed by persons claiming the donation of a gift-in-kind valued at more than $500. A list of appraisers is available at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum’s Appraisals section.


Assignment of copyright is often very complex in the case of cartoon art. The copyright may be owned by the creator, his or her heirs, the syndicate, the publisher or another party. The original copyright owner maintains the copyright of all donated materials, unless copyright ownership is expressly transferred to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum may own the physical object (letter, original cartoon, etc.) but not the copyright.

Transfer of Ownership

If all parties agree that the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is the appropriate repository for your gift-in-kind, then our staff will work with you to arrange the physical transfer of the material. An instrument of donation outlining the terms and conditions of the donation will be sent to you for your approval and signature, along with a letter acknowledging your gift.


Information about donating to libraries and special collections is available at the Society of American Archivists website. See A Guide to Donating Your Personal or Family Papers to a Repository and A Guide to Donating Your Organizational Records to a Repository