In the previous blog, we introduced the entrance atrium and reading room of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum (BICLM). This blog is a continuation of that piece and covers the work space and archives, which are usually not open to the public and require a reservation or guided tour to access. It will also talk about some of the special materials held in the archives, as well as the precautions that are taken to preserve and maintain them.

To request a tour, please contact

The BICLM Main Office

Cartoon Library Office

• One of the first things visitors to the office will see is the processing space on the right. This is the area where incoming materials are first identified, sorted, repaired and cataloged. Ninety percent of BICLM’s holdings are donations from cartoonists who want to share and preserve their work. / オフィスに入るとすぐ右手に作業スペースがあります。ここで集めた資料を分類し、修理やカタログ化も行います。当館の資料の90%は、作品を公開・保存したいと考えている漫画家たちからの寄付です。

BICLM Processing Space

• Another prominent feature of the work space is the large overhead digital scanner. Digitization is a major goal of the BICLM not only for preservation of their materials for future posterity, but also to allow easier and wider access to the collection. / この作業スペースには他にも大型オーバーヘッドデジタルスキャナがあり、資料のデジタル化に活用されています。資料のデジタル化は当館の大きな目標であり、後世のために資料を保存するだけでなく、コレクションへのより簡単で広いアクセスを可能にします。

The Vault, or Special Collections Archives

• One of BICLM’s three vaults, or archival storage areas, can be reached directly from the main office. Each vault holds materials such as cartoons, original art, and Japanese manga. This area is secured and accessible only to workers and visitors on guided tours. The temperature, humidity, and lighting are all strictly regulated in order to maintain a safe environment for preservation. / 館内に3つある保管室のうちの1つで、カートゥーン(アメリカの一コマ漫画やアニメ), その手書き原稿、及び日本の漫画を保存するアーカイブは、メインオフィスから直接繋がっています。適切な環境で資料を保存するため、内部では、温度や湿度、照明 が厳重に管理されています。そのため室内への立ち入りは、通常職員のみ、そのほかツアーでのみ可能となっています。

Garry Trudeau painting

• Upon first entering the storage area, visitors will see a large painting by Garry Trudeau, the author of Doonesbury. To the left are military grade containers that hold extremely precious materials, such as original artwork from Calvin Hobbes and the first animated film, Gertie the Dinosaur (1914). / 保管室に入ると、まずは ”ドゥーンズベリー”の作者としてお馴染みのギャリー・トゥルードーの絵が飾られています。そして、左側のミリタリーグレードの容器(軍隊仕様で高い品質と信頼性を誇る)の中にはカルヴァン・ホブズの手書き原稿と史上初のアニメ映画である” 恐竜ガーティー (1914)”のフィルムが保存されています。

• Further inside the vault are some 1,000 pieces of original art, stored in flat files that are protected by dust and light covers. These pieces include original Peanuts artwork. / 部屋のさらに奥には約1000の原版作品があり、引き出し式のファイルに保管されています。これらの作品の中には”ピーナッツ”の原版もあり、埃や光を遮断するカバーによって守られています。

Flat file with original Peanuts artwork

• While the Billy Ireland Comic Library and Museum focuses on comics, it also contains animation materials from works such as Gertie the Dinosaur and Alice in Wonderland. / ビリーアイルランド漫画図書館は漫画に焦点を当てていますが、”恐竜ガーティー”や”不思議の国のアリス”といった映像作品の絵コンテなども所蔵しています。

Sample of animation materials


• The largest collection of Japanese manga outside of Japan, BICLM’s world class manga collection is also housed on special shelving units within this space. The manga collection contains over 20,000 bound comic books, as well as a number of historically significant manga, including early 20th century sugoroku boards (a type of Japanese game) and original Jiji manga prints. There is also a rare run of 讀賣サンデー漫画 (Yomiuri Sandē Manga) from 1930-1931. / アーカイブ内にある漫画コレクションは、日本国外では最大規模を誇ります。20,000冊以上の装丁された漫画本があり、その他にもすごろくや時事漫画といった歴史的意義を持つものも含まれます。さらに、今ではまれに見ない、1930年から1931年の間に発刊された 讀賣サンデー漫画も当コレクションに保存されています。

A shelving unit, which holds a part of the BICLM manga collection

The manga collection is an integral part of what makes the Japanese Studies collection at OSUL so unique. Researchers can come and access any of the thousands of manga resources on campus. The manga collection has been used to illuminate research on topics ranging from disaster studies and depictions of nuclear power to gender politics and gender roles.

Visitors are welcome to see highlights of the collection at our ongoing series of manga open houses, where East Asian Studies at Thompson Library presents and shares many of its unique manga holdings with the general public. Information on past open houses – as well as the unique materials displayed at them – can be accessed via the Manga Open House Resource guide at 

Stay tuned to this blog as well as our Japanese collections blog for more information and updates on the next event!

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