Comic books, History and Criticism, Bibliography
Comic books are among the rare books of the future. In fact, some comic books are scarcer and more valuable than many of the “old books” that fill special collections stacks. This essay proposes to answer the questions of “What do we do with comics in an academic library?” by analyzing comics as a popular phenomenon that is deeply rooted in book history and the developing print culture of the past 100 years. Using the traditional methods of bibliographic analysis, we might better situate comics within the mission of academic libraries as we work to foster learning, discovery, and inclusivity through collection development, discovery, and public outreach. Bibliographic analysis offers a heuristic for framing comic books within the traditional methodologies of academic and special collections libraries. Doing traditional scholarship with comics in libraries not only frames comics within academic conventions but also encourages librarians, faculty, students, and the public to consider the means by which comics have been produced and consumed, thereby alerting them to an aspect of comics history that they may otherwise be unaware.
Published in Comic Books, Special Collections, and the Academic Library, ed. Brian Flota & Kate Morris, 2023, pages 103-119.
This chapter, by Michael C. Weisenburg, is licensed under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND license.
Weisenburg, M. (2023). Bibliography, print culture, and what to do with comics in a rare books library. In B. Flota and K. Morris (Eds.), Comic books, special collections, and the academic library (pp. 103-119). American Library Association.
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