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The Center for the Humanities Comics Collection

Identifier: MGHL-00016

The Center for the Humanities Comics Collection is comprised of comic books, periodicals, pulp magazines, graphic novels, manga, foreign-language comics, self-published magazines and comics, LPs, and miscellaneous materials.

Comic books make up the bulk of the collection, with a particular emphasis on superhero comics published by Marvel and DC during the second half of the twentieth century. Many other genres are represented as well, including war comics, erotic comics, horror comics, adventure comics, romance comics, and alternative and underground comics. The collection contains a particularly strong selection of titles featuring African American superheroes or protagonists, female superheroes, and work by women cartoonists.


  • Creation: 1940 - 2010

Conditions Governing Use

Some restrictions, please contact the Modern Graphic History Library Curator at (314) 935-7741 or Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies. Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University. If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


5151 comics

36 boxes

Historical Note

Founded in 2003, the Center for the Humanities at Washington University is dedicated to "the promotion and preservation of humanistic thinking and the pursuit of letters as essential activities in the intellectual, political and artistic life of this university, the community it serves, and the world." It aims to support faculty and student research in the humanities through programming, teaching support, and collecting relevant library materials.


Items have been kept in their original order when possible. Items are organized by format, then alphabetically, and then by issue number and date.

Method of Acquisition

The collection was transferred to the Modern Graphic History Library from Washington University's Center for the Humanities in January 2012.

Related Materials

The Center for the Humanities Toy Collection: contains toys, games, political ephemera, and science sets.

Processing Information

The collection was originally processed by Jolie Braun in July 2012.

As of 2022, this collection is in the process of being re-described and some series are unavailble. Please contact the curator for access to in-process materials.

The Center for the Humanities Comics Collection
Jolie Braun
July 2012
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023-03-01: Finding aid updated by Andrea Degener, Visual Materials Processing Archivist and Gail Walters, Curatorial & Processing Assistant.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Dowd Illustration Research Archive Collecting Area

Andrea Degener, Interim Curator
West Campus Library
7425 Forsyth Blvd
Clayton MO 63105 US
(314) 935-5495