Hannah Benbow, the ATL Research Librarian cartoons, attended the Australasian Humour Studies Network symposium in Ballarat in early February 2017, the Guardians providing travel assistance. She spoke there about the public’s use of the Cartoon Archive.
“As the Cartoon Archive reaches its 25th year, it was a good time to take a look at what that information can tell us, both about our successes, but it also helps identify new opportunities to support research in the Cartoon Archive.
“Requests have been growing steadily year on year and the bulk of them – about 85 percent – are for reproduction rather than research,” she says. “While most requests are for academic publications and textbooks, our cartoons are going far and wide: common requesters include museums (a number overseas), family historians, government departments and journalists. A large number of requests are from teachers, students, examiners and the authors of school textbooks. It’s great to see so many cartoons going into classrooms and being used in so many different ways.”
Hannah Benbow’s research has identified the 10 most requested cartoons in the collection. The two most popular – by Sid Scales and Eric Heath – deal with ANZUS. Next most popular is a 1908 rugby cartoon by Trevor Lloyd. Other ‘top 10’ cartoonists include Nevile Lodge, Sir Gordon Minhinnick, Bob Brockie and David Fletcher.