Comic Books, Special Collections, and the Academic Library

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Comic book properties continue to dominate popular culture, and there has been continued growth in the academic field of Comics Studies. Graphic novels and comic trade paperbacks populate the shelves of many academic libraries. Single issue collections of “floppy” comic books, however, tend to find their home in special collections libraries because their flimsy construction, highly acidic paper, and, occasionally, the scarcity of certain specific issues warrants special storage and handling. Thoughtful consideration must go into any decision to begin or sustain these collections.
Comic Books, Special Collections, and the Academic Library collects best practices for the acquisition, preservation, storage, and cataloging of comics, particularly single-issue (or floppy) comics, within the special collections units of academic library collections. Four sections answer:

  • Why Should Your Institution Collect Comics?
  • Your Library Collects or Wants to Collect Comics. Now What?
  • How Do You Engage in Library Instruction and Outreach with Your Comics Collection?
  • How Can Comics Be Used as Primary and Secondary Source Material by Students and Faculty? 

Chapters address challenges specific to comic book collections in academic libraries, such as finding space and funds to build a collection, making diverse and inclusive collections, leading innovative library instruction sessions with comics, and working with undergraduate and graduate students on comics research. Comic Books, Special Collections, and the Academic Library can help you develop, cultivate, grow, catalog, and make use of comic book collections.

Imprint: ACRL

ISBN: 9780838939505

Published: 2023

Pages: 324

Sku: 9780838939505

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