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Cartoon Archive Rapid Digitisation project - CARD

The Cartoon Archive Rapid Digitisation project (CARD) is funded by the Joint Information Services Committee (JISC). It focuses on two undigitised collections in greatest demand by researchers at the British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent (BCA).

The British Cartoon Archive (BCA) was established in 1973, and holds the national collection of cartoons of social and political comment from British newspapers and magazines. Its website at is the largest online academic cartoon resource in the world, giving access to 140,000 digitised and catalogued images, plus background material including 200 cartoonists’ biographies.

The two collections to be added in the CARD Project are:

  • the Cuttings Collection, comprising 14,500 political cartoons published in British national newspapers and magazines between 2003 and 2011
  • the Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP’s) archive, recording the prosecution for obscenity of 1,300 cartoon seaside postcards between 1951 and 1961

There is high demand for these two undigitised collections, and the BCA is responding to that demand by adding them to its online resources.

Example images:

Tony Blair cartoon

Cuttings Collection:
Cutting 68452, Chris Riddell, The Observer, 1 February 2004, copyright Guardian Media Group.

Cartoon stapled to index card

DPP's archive:
DPP's card CP0250, Donald McGill for D. Constance, copyright Greaves and Thomas.

User-oriented goals

As with the rest of the BCA’s online resources, the material created by the CARD project will be freely available on the BCA website, both during the project and for the forseeable future. In addition, the high-resolution images created by the CARD project will be available for use and reuse by members of academic institutions which have JISC Licences.

To further encourage use of the 16,000 items digitised under the CARD project, the BCA is also creating a range of materials and web features aimed at teachers and students in schools, FE, and HE institutions. These will include:

  • teaching groups of cartoons featuring the two digitised collections
  • video interviews with cartoonists whose work is included in them
  • improved facilities for users to create their own teaching groups
  • video guides to both searching the catalogue and creating teaching groups
  • tools for embedding BCA material in Virtual Learning Environments

Project links

Contact details for the project

Project Director

Dr Nicholas Hiley
Head of the British Cartoon Archive
Templeman Library
University of Kent
Kent CT2 7NU

Telephone: 01227 827138


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Last Updated: 26/01/2015