New look for British Cartoon Archive

The British Cartoon Archive website has a new look and updated features, so now it’s even easier to explore this unique collection held at the University of Kent. Whether you’ve used the site before or you’re new to it, take a look and let us know what you think.

What’s new and improved

You can still find cartoon images by searching the catalogue. As well as this, the new website has:

  • a fresh modern look (pictured above)
  • more regular updates to the catalogue
  • more modern cartoons
  • easier to find archival collections
  • more prominent cartoonist biographies
  • a news feed from the Special Collections blog

Tell us what you think

We want to know what you like and don’t like about the new website, and any changes you’d like to see. Send your feedback to or use the site’s feedback form.

About the British Cartoon Archive

The British Cartoon Archive is located in Canterbury at the University of Kent’s Templeman Library. It is dedicated to the history of British cartooning over the last two hundred years.

It holds the artwork for more than 150,000 British editorial, socio-political, and pocket cartoons, supported by large collections of comic strips, newspaper cuttings, books and magazines. The collection of artwork dates back to 1904 and includes work by W.K. Haselden, Will Dyson, Sidney Strube, David Low, Vicky, Emmwood, Michael Cummings, Ralph Steadman, Mel Calman, Nicholas Garland, Chris Riddell, Carl Giles, Martin Rowson, and Steve Bell, amongst many others.

Cartoons on show

A selection of items from the British Cartoon Archive, including newspaper strips, books, postcards and toys, is on public display in the Templeman Library until 30 March as part of our Comedy on Stage and Page exhibition.

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Comedy on Stage & Page Exhibition

Exhibition showcasing some of the cartoons from the British Cartoon Archive collection. This will be on show in The Gallery until the end of March 2016. See here for more details.

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The Story of Reg Smythe – Andy Capp

My Dancing Bear: The Story of Reg Smythe Creator of Andy Capp by Helene de Klerk

This is the story of Reg Smythe, creator of the world famous Andy Capp cartoon, by his niece, the former journalist Hélène de Klerk. Reg was the first British cartoonist to break into the American market and the first one to offer what journalist Paul Slade called a ‘brutal kitchen sink realism’. The story charts his impoverished childhood and formative relationships through to international recognition and his last years as a semi-recluse in the north of England. The memoir gives an insight into the man behind the cartoon linking childhood and adult experiences to the development of the cartoon’s characters, describing how he worked and what fame meant to him – often in his own words.  It features his early work and many never before seen cartoons.

For more information and to purchase a copy go here

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