One of the many exciting projects that we have underway is the development of an English and Japanese bilingual guide to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum and Library (BICLM).  Our goal with this guide is to improve access for Japanese visitors to BICLM’s special collections, including its world-class manga collection. We’re also excited to share an informal version of our guide here, in this blog, so Japanese visitors can learn about Billy Ireland, without even flying to Columbus!

When we launched this bilingual project, we began by sending a small group of staff and student workers from East Asian Studies at Thompson Library to Billy Ireland to learn about the library and museum first hand.  At the time, we visited with Professor Caitlin McGurk, one of BICLM’s main curators (and one of Alive newspaper’s people to watch!), who gave us a personal tour of the BICLM atrium, offices, vault, library, and museum gallery.  As she showed us around, we asked questions and took pictures and notes so that we could later translate the contents of her tour from English to Japanese.

Atrium Showcase: Easel and Drawing of Cartoon Artist Billy Ireland

Following the tour, we drafted this blog, which, like our bilingual guide, is divided into three sections: the first part introduces what is readily accessible to the general public, specifically the entrance atrium and the BICLM reading room. The second part focuses on the behind-the-scenes work space and vault, or archives. These spaces are only accessible to staff or visitors who have scheduled a special guided tour. Finally, the third part describes the BICLM museum gallery, which showcases permanent and rotating exhibits from the Billy Ireland special collections. Like the entrance atrium and reading room, the museum is open to the general public and can be visited during regular hours of operation. For those visitors who would like to visit these spaces in person, directions, hours, and other details are available on the BICLM website.

Part I. Introduction to BICLM

Entrance atrium of the Cartoon Library

One of eight special collections at OSU Libraries, BICLM is the largest and most comprehensive academic research facility documenting printed cartoon art, including editorial cartoons, comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, and manga. / 「ビリー・アイルランド漫画図書館」はオハイオ州立大学附属図書館にある9つののうちの1つであり、漫画を収集し保存しています。

• The BICLM library has approximately 3 million items and is the world’s largest collection of comic books. Within the collection are books, manga, handwritten manuscripts, posters, and other comic-related materials. / 当図書館 はおよそ300万点の所蔵品を有し、世界でも最大規模の漫画コレクションです。これらの所蔵品の中には、本や漫画、手書き原稿、ポスターなどが含まれています。

• The special collection began in 1977 when Milton Caniff, an OSU student who later became famous for works such as Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon, donated his life’s work to OSU because he felt that he owed his success to his education. His donation would serve as the foundation to what would grow and develop into the BICLM. / 当コレクションは1977年、オハイオ州立大学の卒業生であったミルトン・キャニフによって設立されました。彼は “テリー&ザ パイレーツ” や “スティーブ キャニオン”などの作品でお馴染みの漫画家です。キャニフは「自分の成功は、自身が受けてきた教育のおかげである」と考え、生涯の作品を母校であるオハイオ州立大学へ寄付しました。

The Entrance Atrium

• The collection’s namesake, Billy Ireland, started working at The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus’s largest local newspaper, shortly after his 1898 high school graduation and worked there as the lead cartoonist until his death in 1935. His signature was a shamrock and can be seen at the entrance of BICLM. / ビリー・アイルランドはコロンバス最大手の新聞社” コロンバス デスパッチ”の主力漫画家でした。彼のサインはシャムロック(クローバー類の植物)で, 図書館のエントランスホールで見ることができます。

Billy Ireland’s signature

• Milton Caniff looked up to Billy Ireland as a mentor and worked with him to learn about cartooning. / キャニフはアイルランドのことを良き師として尊敬し、漫画の執筆を学ぶために彼と共に仕事をしていました。

• The stained glass outside of the reading room are painstakingly detailed replications of Billy Ireland’s work, exact down to the directions of brushstrokes. / Reading Room(閲覧室)の外側にあるステンドグラスの窓は、ビリー・アイルランドの作品を運筆まできわめて正確に複製したものです。

The Reading Room  

• The reading room is open to the public and serves as a space where visitors can access anything within the archives. To request specific materials, visitors can reserve them in advance online or request them onsite when visiting the reading room. / 閲覧室は一般公開されており、アーカイブ内のどの作品も手に取って見ることができます。また、特定の資料を希望される場合にも、来館時に直接お問い合わせ頂く、もしくはオンラインで事前に予約することが可能です。

• Materials in the reading room include reference books, history books, graphic novels, and an image database. / 閲覧室の資料には、参考文献、歴史書、グラフィック小説、画像データベースなどがあります。

• The reading room also contains a shelf dedicated to Lucy Shelton Caswell, the Founding Curator of the BICLM, who worked with Milton Caniff to expand what started as a donation into the huge special collection it is today. / 他にも、閲覧室内にはルーシー・シェルトンに捧げられた本棚があります。彼はミルトン・キャニフと共に漫画図書館の拡大に努めた人物で、寄贈品から始まった当館を現在の規模に至るまで築き上げました。

• Other shelves feature different artists and display their signature comics and art. / 他の本棚には他の芸術家の代表作品も置かれています。

This concludes Part I of the tour. To continue to Part II, please click here.