In 1973 the first cartoons arrived at Kent, in the shape of a large deposit of 20,000 cartoons from the Daily Mail and Evening News. This paved the way for the establishment of the Centre for the Study of Cartoons and Caricature (CSCC), which was formally inaugerated at the University of Kent in October 1975. Dr Graham Thomas, who worked at the university’s Politics Department, was instrumental in it’s founding and, along with colleagues such as Colin Seymour-Ure, built the CSCC into one of the largest and most significant collections of cartoons in the UK. Today we know these collections as the British Cartoon Archive.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the CSCC and the British Cartoon Archive, we’ll be hosting a variety of events and activities from Summer 2023 through to Winter 2025. Information about these events will be posted here.
The 50/50 Project: Celebrating 50 Years of the British Cartoon Archive (June-December 2023)
This is a volunteer-led project aiming to explore and select 50 cartoons from across the British Cartoon Archive collections to feature in an exhibition in the Templeman Gallery. The project took place on Mondays throughout June 2023. The exhibition will be on display from October 2023 to Febraury 2024.
After an initial tour of the collections the volunteer group got hands-on with cartoons, searching our catalogues, viewing material, and writing captions, before curating the exhibition.
The exhibition has now been installed and can be viewed in the Templeman Gallery space (first floor, A block) until early February.
Cartooning Covid-19 (October-December 2023)
‘Cartooning Covid-19’ will be a 10-week volunteering project which aims to make available cartoons published in national papers during the Covid 19 pandemic between March and December 2020. Through the description and cataloguing of these cartoons, we will ensure that this important period in recent history is captured in the cartoon catalogue of the British Cartoon Archive for use in learning, teaching and research.
The project will be carried out using a hybrid model of in-person group sessions and remote virtual cataloguing. Volunteers will be provided with full training as part of the project, including sessions from the archive team about the BCA and the work they carry out to preserve it and make it available, and they will be given access to library resources such as newspaper archives and both physical and digital cartoon collections.
The project will begin in October 2023, see https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/specialcollections/2023/09/01/cartooning-covid-19-call-for-volunteer-participants/ to get involved!