Collection inventory

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Bill Graham Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Graham, Bill, 1920-
Title: Bill Graham Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1947-1966.
Quantity: 2 linear ft.
Abstract: 330 original editorial cartoons, correspondence and a published book.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

William “Bill” Karr Graham (1920-1994) was an American editorial cartoonist.

Bill Graham was born on December 14, 1920 in Coshocton, Ohio. Graham received a B.S. in social science from Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1942 where he contributed cartoons to the college yearbook. During World War II, Graham worked as an Army training artist and also created the comic strip Stinky while stationed at Fort Chaffee. Following the war, he was a reporter at the Coshocton Tribune and drew a Sunday panel, Smoke Signals from 1946 until 1948 when he was hired as the editorial cartoonist for the Arkansas Gazette.

Graham held membership in the National Cartoonists Society and the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists. One book of his cartoons was published in 1974, A little drum roll, please ... : The second term of Richard M. Nixon: a collection of cartoons. His work has been exhibited several times: as part of a NCS and U.S. Treasury Department traveling exhibition in 1950, in England in 1951 and with an AAEC traveling exhibit in 1960. His cartoons were also displayed at the Pavilion D’Humor in Montreal in 1971.

After retiring from the Arkansas Gazette in 1985, Bill Graham died September 9, 1994 of lung cancer.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Bill Graham Papers are organized into two series. The first series, Cartoons consists of 330 original editorial cartoons published in the Arkansas Gazette (1954-1965). Five of the cartoons are undated. Of particular interest are Graham's cartoons during the "Little Rock Crisis", the period during which at the behest of Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus black students were barred from entering Little Rock Central High School during attempts to integrate it. Faubus’ (as well as other Southern states') defiance of federal court decisions and law and order was a running theme in Graham's cartoons during these years.

The cartoons from 1954 through the first two months of 1962 measure 11 1/4" x 14 1/4" and the last few years of cartoons measure 9 ½" x 11 ½". They were drawn on illustration board and paper with ink, crayon and graphite with notations appearing in blue pencil.

In addition, there several folders of incoming correspondence (1947-1966). The pieces of correspondence in the collection are photocopies and not originals. Included are letters from the Arkansas Gazette detailing the newspaper's decision to hire Graham as their editorial cartoonist, letters from fellow cartoonists and letters of appreciation from figures depicted in Graham's cartoons.

Also included is a published collection of editorials and cartoons (drawn by Graham) from the Arkansas Gazette titled Crisis in the South: the Little Rock Story (1959) which chronicles the newspaper's pieces about the desegregation of Little Rock's school system under the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The cartoons and correspondence are arranged in chronological order with undated cartoons and undated correspondence at the end of their respective series.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

One published book, Crisis in the South: the Little Rock story(1959) has been removed from this collection and sent to Rare Books.

Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings


Faubus, Orval Eugene, 1910-1994 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Graham, Bill, 1920-
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Corporate Bodies

Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Associated Titles

Arkansas gazette (Little Rock, Ark. : 1889)


American South -- Caricatures and cartoons.
American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Civil rights movements -- United States -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Editorial cartoons -- Arkansas.
Editorial cartoons -- Little Rock (Ark.)
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Political cartoons.
School integration -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World politics -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.


United States -- Politics and government, 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Editorial cartoons.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Bill Graham Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Bill Graham, 1967.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: –
Date: 1984
Revision history: 17 Nov 2008 - converted to EAD (MD); 29 Sep 2009 - added detailed inventory and index (SK); 8 Feb 2012 - box numbers revised (in accordance with index) (MD)

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Cartoons (330 items)
Click here for a list of specific dates.
See below for an index to the cartoons.
Oversize 1, Folder 1 1954 Oct - Nov
Oversize 1, Folder 2 1955 Jan - Jun
Oversize 1, Folder 3 1955 Jul - Nov
Oversize 1, Folder 4 1956 Jan - Feb, Apr - May, Jul - Sep
Oversize 1, Folder 5 1956 Oct - Nov
Oversize 1, Folder 6 1957 Feb, May, Jul
Oversize 1, Folder 7 1957 Sep
Oversize 1, Folder 8 1957 Oct- Nov
Oversize 1, Folder 9 1958 Jan - May
Oversize 1, Folder 10 1958 Jul - Oct
Oversize 1, Folder 11 1958 Nov - Dec
Oversize 2, Folder 1 1959 Jan - Mar
Oversize 2, Folder 2 1959 Apr - May
Oversize 2, Folder 3 1959 Jun - Sep
Oversize 2, Folder 4 1959 Nov - Dec
Oversize 2, Folder 5 1960 Jan - Feb, May
Oversize 2, Folder 6 1960 Jun - Sep
Oversize 2, Folder 7 1960 Oct - Dec
Oversize 2, Folder 8 1961 Jan - Mar
Oversize 2, Folder 9 1961 Apr - Aug
Oversize 2, Folder 10 1961 Sep - Dec
Oversize 2, Folder 11 1962 Jan - Feb
Box 3, Folder 1 1962 Mar - Jul
Box 3, Folder 2 1962 Aug - Dec
Box 3, Folder 3 1963 Mar - Apr
Box 3, Folder 4 1963 May - Jun
Box 3, Folder 5 1963 Jul - Oct
Box 3, Folder 6 1963 Nov - Dec
Box 3, Folder 7 1964 Jan - Apr
Box 3, Folder 8 1964 May - Jul
Box 3, Folder 9 1964 Aug - Dec
Box 3, Folder 10 1965 Jan - Apr
Box 3, Folder 11 1965 May - Jun
Box 3, Folder 12 1965 Jul
Box 3, Folder 13 1965 Aug - Oct
Box 3, Folder 14 1965 Nov - Dec
Box 3, Folder 15 undated; circa 1950s
Box 3 1947-1955
Box 3 1958-1959
Box 3 1961-1963
Box 3 1965-1966
Box 3 undated

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Index to cartoons

The following is a list of predominant people, places and subjects appearing in the editorial cartoons in this collection. The list is not exhaustive. Some subjects may require you to browse with alternative terms.

B= Box, F= Folder. For example: B1F1= Box 1 Folder 1.

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