Comic Books, Special Collections, and the Academic Library (Paperback)

Comic Books, Special Collections, and the Academic Library By Brian Flota (Editor), Kate Morris (Editor) Cover Image
By Brian Flota (Editor), Kate Morris (Editor)
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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.

About the Author

Brian Flota is a humanities librarian at the rank of associate professor in the Libraries at James Madison University. In this position he has collaborated with Special Collections and faculty in the English Department to develop a collection of Black comic books, poetry, and prose. He co-edited the essay collection The Politics of Post-9/11 Music with Joseph P. Fisher (2011) and is the author of A Survey of Multicultural San Francisco Bay Literature, 1955-1979 (2009). He has also produced scholarship on comics and pulp magazine collections in libraries, Ishmael Reed, Richard Pryor, and the Beat Generation.
Kate Morris is head of special collections, assistant professor rank, within the digital scholarship and distinctive collections department at James Madison University. She provides leadership for the special collections team, and works to acquire and develop collections that document the history of the central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and the history of JMU. She works with faculty to integrate primary sources into coursework and to acquire rare and unique collections, including a growing collection of comics, that support the curriculum.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780838939505
ISBN-10: 0838939503
Publisher: Assoc of College & Research Libraries
Publication Date: December 6th, 2023
Pages: 324
Language: English