The Reading Room Index to the Comic Art Collection

an author, artist, title, keyword and subject index to the
Comic Art Collection in the Special Collections Division,
Michigan State University Libraries

See also

The primary access method for readership of the Comic Art Collection is assumed to be the MSU Libraries Online Catalog in which the comics materials in the collections are listed along with all other holdings of the Library. The individual records in the catalog are updated dynamically and are therefore the master record of what the library owns and can provide.

The purpose of the Reading Room Index is to provide more in-depth indexing of the holdings of the Comic Art Collection, as would be required by advanced scholars and specialized users. It is hoped that through use of this more detailed and precoordinated index scholars will

The Reading Room Index is also searchable through such services as Google and thus reaches out to potential users of the collection who are not accustomed to using academic library catalogs.

This index lists the holdings of the Comic Art Collection but it does not provide on-line access to the materials listed. The Reading Room Index points only to materials owned by and available in the Comic Art Collection, but it does not point to all the materials in the collection. The index consists mainly of

Telephone: 517/884-6471 (Monday through Friday, 9 am - 5 pm Eastern Standard Time) ask for Randall Scott


Mailing address:

Reading Room Index
Comic Art Collection
Michigan State University Libraries
100 Library
E. Lansing, Mich. 48824-1048 USA

The Philosophy of the Reading Room Index

There is a school of thought that holds to the antique tenet that an index is an objective, technical sort of thing that doesn't need to reveal its biases because it doesn't have any. It is convenient for the indexer here if you believe this, and you may proceed to use the Reading Room Index to the Comic Art Collection as though it presented a complete and true analog of the universe of comics, with each aspect balanced so as to avoid over-representation or under-representation, with everything that could reasonably be seen as important given due emphasis, and trivia weeded out for your convenience.

Let us rephrase that so some of it is true. The indexing here is from some points of view random, so that a lot of things are automatically "balanced," mainly things that we haven't paid explicit attention to. But that's about it as far as objectivity goes. We have striven to over-represent things that scholars and students repeatedly ask for, and to represent at a minimum level (at least five entries) as many persons, titles, characters, or institutions as come to our attention. "Trivial" details gleaned in these pursuits are almost religiously included. The concept of trivia is a little out of place here. Either the whole business is trivia, and so we embrace it, or we abandon objectivity and insist that some things are inherently more important than others. In this way we inevitably insult some our friends by not valuing what they consider important.

Here in evidence is a list of ten comics topics seriously pursued on our premises by folks who later produced dissertations or seemed to have serious writing for publication in progress:

This list includes ideology, nationality and ethnicity, technology and society, gender studies, a person, a place, a century, a fish, and a duck. That's what this index is about. Sometimes a list serves to define something better than a description.

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Michigan State University Libraries

Special Collections Division

Introduction to Reading Room Index

Last updated November 11, 2019
Page editor: Randall W. Scott