logo by Tom Daly Illustration
The Columbia University Libraries collect both graphic novels for the circulating collection in the 4th-floor West reading rooms and also creator archives in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The circulating collection launched in 2005, when the libraries held three titles, and by the end of 2020 the collection featured more than 19,000 titles in over two dozen languages. The archival collections, which already contained disparate comics holdings, launched in earnest in 2011, with the acquisition of writer Chris Claremont's papers.
The circulating holdings contain a diverse collection, with mainstream and alternative titles, archival reprints, independent comics, Kickstarter projects, and other content. These materials have been used in courses from East Asian Languages and Cultures, to English and Comparative Literature, to Narrative Medicine, and have been featured in the American Studies course "The American Graphic Novel." Students have used the collection for term papers, senior theses, and M.A. essays, while faculty have found curricular and research inspiration there.
To suggest a title for the circulating collection, or to donate to the archival collections, please contact Karen Green, the Curator for Comics and Cartoons (see contact info on the right).