Race, Ethnicity, & Identity at the Modern Graphic History Library

We’ve created a new research guide for anyone interested in researching race and ethnicity in the Modern Graphic History Library’s collections. It provides an overview of what kind of materials and images we have and how to find them, relevant digital image collections, and recommended books. The guide draws from four different collections and highlights relevant original artwork, magazines, tear sheets, children’s books, comic books, graphic novels, and zines.

A few images, along with more information about the collections represented in the guide, are included below. Check out the Race, Ethnicity, and Identity at MGHL research guide to see more, and don’t forget to take a look at our recent guides about Advertisements and Women in Popular Culture if you haven’t already.


Illustration from the Robert Weaver Collection. Weaver was dedicated to capturing the changing social and cultural climate of his times, and this collection is particularly strong in mid-century depictions of African Americans.


Illustration from A Great Miracle Happened There: A Chanukah Story, part of the Robert Andrew Parker Collection. Parker has illustrated over 40 children’s books, several of which deal with race and ethnicity. The collection contains original artwork as well as published books.


The above comic is part of the Center for the Humanities Comics Collection which is comprised of thousands of comic books, predominantly published between 1960 and 2000. The collection contains a particularly strong selection of titles featuring African American super heroes and protagonists. This collection also includes graphic novels, magazines, and zines dealing with race and ethnicity.


Illustration by Stevan Dohanos, from the Charles Craver Collection. This collection contains hundreds of tear sheets of illustrated fiction, nonfiction, and advertisements from the 1930s to the 1950s by dozens of important mid-century illustrators. A list of illustrators relevant to researchers of race and ethnicity is available on the Craver page of the research guide.

About the author

Andrea Degener is the Visual Materials Processing Archivist in the department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.