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John Sorensen Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Sorensen, John
Title: John Sorensen Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1953-1968
Quantity: 2.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Original cartoons, illustrations, advertising material, correspondence, clippings and printed material.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

John Hjelmhof Sorensen (1924-1969) was a cartoonist, illustrator and commercial artist. Born and educated in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sorensen worked for most of his career in the United States. His cartoons appeared in many major publications — Saturday Evening Post, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Saturday Review. He was the president of the advertising company Sorensen & Associates, located in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John Sorensen Papers contains artwork, correspondence-subject files, memorabilia, and printed material.

Artwork contains original artwork by Sorensen. The vast majority of these retain the numbering given them by Sorensen and are in that order; there are gaps in the sequences, whether due to missing cartoons or deliberate non-sequential numbering is unknown. Following these are a few miscellaneous cartoons, sketches, drawings, and other original artwork. Included in the miscellaneous cartoons in this series are two untitled strips featuring a character named Ozni Chubb (three copies of one strip, one hand-colored by Sorensen, and one copy of a second strip). Also included here are several original pieces of art for a real estate or possibly a construction company (Melvin Holmes or Alvin Holmes).

Correspondence-subject files consist mostly of incoming correspondence from clients (American Medical Association, Cavalier, Saturday Evening Post, True, Writer's Digest) and agents (Ben Roth Agency, Ray Morin). There is a folder of "how-to" and other cartooning-related clippings and articles (tips on cartooning, how to write gags, how to submit ruffs, bios of other cartoonists, etc) as well as a few other assorted topics. Of particular interest is a folder of correspondence outlining a cartoon called "Mack Mars" which Sorensen proposed to do in collaboration with Harry Ashmore of the Arkansas Gazette, including one printed example from an unknown newspaper.

A small amount of Memorabilia contains clippings about Sorensen, photographs of a few of his paintings (including one of his wife), and two pages of ads for his company, Sorensen Advertising.

Printed material contains printed examples of Sorensen's work, ranging from advertisements and cartoons published in newspapers to cards, magazine covers, letterheads, and assorted other items, including Sorensen's covers for the Journal of Arkansas Education which he did for more than ten years. At the end of this series are a few clippings of cartoons by other artists.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged in alphabetical order except for the original cartoons by Sorensen; these are arranged in numeric order according to Sorensen's own numbering system.

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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

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


Sorensen, John.


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Commercial art -- United States.
Commercial artists -- United States.
Illustrators -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Book jackets.
Cartoons (humorous images)
Drawings (visual works)
Greeting cards.


Commercial artists.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John Sorensen Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of John Sorensen, 1967-1968.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: --
Date: 1968
Revision history: 18 Dec 2008 - converted to EAD (MD); 11 Nov 2009 - inventory added (MRC)

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Cartoons (numbered)
Box 1 [unnumbered]-A187
Box 1 A203-A621
Box 1 A622-B951
Box 1 C001-C505
Box 1 C506-D700
Box 1 D701-F901
Box 1 G002-G800
Box 2 H001-H905
Box 2 I001-L900
Box 2 M001-M900
Box 2 N001-N625
Box 2 O001-O925
Box 2 P001-P858
Box 2 R001-SAN8
Box 3 S003-S901
Box 3 SS1-T913
Box 3 V200-Y731
Box 3 Cartoons, miscellaneous (unnumbered)
Box 3 Drawings and sketches
Box 3 Melvin Holmes / Alvin Holmes
Correspondence-subject files
Box 3 American Medical Association
Box 3 American Weekly
Box 3 Arkansas Vocational Rehabilitation Service
Box 3 ART Photography
Box 3 A, miscellaneous
Box 3 Ben Roth Agency
Box 3 Better Homes and Gardens
Box 3 B, miscellaneous
Box 3 Cartoonists Guild of America
Box 3 Cabaret
Box 3 Card, Lew (agent)
Box 3 Caper
Box 3 Cavalier
Box 3 Collier's
Box 3 Cosmopolitan
Box 3 Current Medical Digest
Box 3 Curtis Publishing
Box 3 C, miscellaneous
Box 3 D, miscellaneous
Box 3 E-F, miscellaneous
Box 3 Fleetway Publications (London)
Box 3 G-H, miscellaneous
Box 4 "How-to" material - clippings, newsletters, articles, etc
Box 4 Institututions (magazine)
Box 4 I, miscellaneous
Box 4 Kingwood Place house contract
Box 4 "Mack Mars" (strip)
Box 4 Morin, Ray (agent)
Box 4 M, miscellaneous
Box 4 New Yorker
Box 4 N, miscellaneous
Box 4 Preston, Charles (agent?) - mentions Wall Street Journal, American Weekly cartoons
Box 4 R, miscellaneous
Box 4 Saturday Evening Post
Box 4 Southwestern Bell - includes original art
Box 4 Star Weekly (Toronto)
Box 4 Swank
Box 4 S, miscellaneous
Box 4 Toronto Star Limited
Box 4 Town Journal
Box 4 True
Box 4 T, miscellaneous
Box 4 U, miscellaneous
Box 4 Willis Kingsley Wing
Box 4 Writer's Digest
Box 4 W, miscellaneous
Box 4 Y-Z, miscellaneous
Box 4 Unidentified
Box 4 Clippings about
Box 4 Photographs of his paintings - includes painting of his wife
Box 4 Sorensen Advertising (company)
Printed material
Box 4 Arkansas Power and Light
Box 4 Central Arkansas Milk Producers Association (CAMPA)
Box 4 U.S. Army Reserve
Box 4 Miscellaneous - includes a few photos of billboards
Box 5 Brochures, calendars, fliers, etc.
Box 5 Cards - Christmas, New Year's, general greetings
Box 5 Arkansas Gazette - cartoons, illustrations, other types of artwork
Box 5 Journal of Arkansas Education
Box 5 Miscellaneous cartoons
Box 5 Miscellaneous drawings
Box 5 Journal of Arkansas Education
Box 5 Union Life Lines (Union Life Insurance Company)
Box 5 Miscellaneous - includes CAMPA News, Quip, Midsouth Blue Blazer, Hospitality
Box 5 Letterheads
Box 5 Programs and booklets
Box 5 Miscellaneous
Box 5 By others - pages and clippings from newspaper comics pages

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