The Suzy Covey Comic Book Collection directly supports the Comic Studies Program offered by the Department of English at the University of Florida, but its holdings are open to all having an interest in the field. The collection is still growing, and is useful for those interested in the history and development of sequential art formats, particularly in the United States and includes original and reprint comic books, strips, caricatures and related items. The collection holds items from every recognized “Age” of comics as well as every genre, including daily humor strips and political satire as well as superhero, funny animal, and underground comics.
Comic Books were an early focus of acquisition, with items complimenting the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature. The Comic Book Collection spans several decades and includes publications by the major comic book publishers (e.g., DC and Marvel, as well as Disney) along with publications from smaller and/or subsidiary companies. The collection covers American comics, mainly, although holdings of international titles are being added.
The contents of the collection are available through a database (in Excel format), which is arranged by title and includes publication information.
Retired businessman, Sol Davidson, wrote a doctoral dissertation, Culture and the Comic Strips, which earned him the first PhD in comics from New York University in 1959. There was scarce institutional support for Comics Studies at the time, but Dr. Davidson's interest in comics never flagged. Slowly, he and his wife, Penny, accumulated a unique set of comic books, anthologies, newspaper sections, magazines and other rarities.
The library has begun acquiring elements of the Davidson Collection and making them available for research, instruction, and display. Important sub-sections of the Penny and Sol Davidson Collection include: Victorian Age, Platinum Age and Special Purpose comics; Will Eisner’s Preventive Maintenance publications; “funny pages” from Sunday newspapers and Harold Teen” page proofs and “Classics Illustrated Reprints” in newspaper sections; Jungle comics, and Single Series comics. Item-level inventories are available to provide complete access to the contents of the Davidson Collection.
Special Collections has also been acquiring materials from the collection of Dr. Donald Ault, English professor at the University of Florida. He has contributed several thousand pages of comic strips, including "Blondie," "Prince Valiant," "The Watcher," and Sunday comics pages from various newspapers.
This exhibition focused on popular superheroes appearing in DC Comics from 1960 through present day, covering most of the "Silver Age." The display was organized around heroes including Superman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Aquaman, The Atom, The Martian Manhunter, and Wonder Woman. Along with each hero's history and context, information was provided about the individual comic book issues included in the exhibit. Online exhibit hosted by ImageText, Department of English, University of Florida
Celebrating the 75th anniversary of "Chic" Young's Blondie newspaper strip, this exhibition explored the early history and formative years of the strip. On display were strips that featured Blondie and Dagwood's tumultuous wedding, the successive birth and development of Cookie and Alexander, and the forgotten characters such as spirited Hiho and Dagwood's wealthy parents. The exhibit included strips from the Don Ault Collection, which has a run of the series from 1931 to 1953. Also featured were contemporary strips and the Little Big Books donated by Penny and Sol Davidson, which are part of the Baldwin Collection of Historical Children's Literature.
A number of resources, print and digital, are available to supplement the primary-source materials in the Suzy Covey Comic Book Collection. The George A. Smathers Libraries has assembled an array of reference works, monographs, scholarly journals, and digital collections.
The American Library Association has published an article, “Comic books and graphic novels: Digital resources for an evolving form of art and literature,” which includes a handy selection of Internet sites available for research. Research guides; news and reviews; organizations and associations; bibliographies and collections; on-line magazines and journals; and reference tools and resources are covered in this article. Of particular merit is Comic Books, New York Public Library (NYPL).
A Video Introduction to the Suzy Covey Comic Book Collection
Support the Suzy Covey Comic Book Collection
This fund was established by a group of donors in 2013 to support the acquisition, donation and processing of comic books and other comic book genres at the University of Florida.
The Suzy Covey Comic Book Collection at the University of Florida needs your support in order to continue its growth and development. Our goal is to make the collection one of the best of its kind in the United States.
If you would like to make a contribution of funds please use the Donate button above, or make a check payable to the University of Florida Foundation, Inc. and mail to Director of Development, George A. Smathers Libraries, PO Box 117001, Gainesville, FL 32611-7001
For additional information about the Suzy Covey Comic Book Collection, please contact us.