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Keith Temple Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Temple, Keith.
Title: Keith Temple Cartoons
Inclusive Dates: 1961-1967
Quantity: 5 linear ft.
Abstract: 180 original editorial cartoons and five scrapbooks of clippings of Temple's editorial cartoons published in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Keith Temple (1899-1980) was an Australian-American editorial cartoonist who worked for the New Orleans Times-Picayune for over 40 years.

Born in Australia in 1899, Temple volunteered at age 17 to serve with the Australian Imperial Forces during World War I. Temple’s brother was killed in the war and Temple himself was wounded. After his discharge, Temple decided to travel around the world. While visiting the United States in 1919, Temple ended up in a New Orleans hospital due to complications from his World War I wound. After his release from this costly hospital stay, Temple had to seek work and was hired as a reporter and news artist with the Times-Picayune. Temple left to spend one year with the New Orleans Item until he returned to the Times-Picayune as their editorial cartoonist. His first editorial cartoon with the paper appeared on May 23, 1923.

While an editorial cartoonist, Temple studied painting and sculpture at the New Orleans Arts and Crafts Club. Prompted by a libel suit at the newspaper involving one of his editorial cartoons, he also studied law at Loyola University, receiving a degree in 1927. Temple received a George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation in 1966. Temple retired from the Times-Picayune in 1967 and was replaced by Eldon Pletcher. Following retirement, Temple pursued painting, often creating works focused on New Orleans history drawn from his memories of New Orleans from the time following his arrival there and sketches he had made at the time.

Keith Temple died in Missisippi in 1980.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Keith Temple Cartoons contain original editorial cartoons and scrapbooks of clippings of his cartoons published in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Cartoons (1961-1967) contains artwork for 187 original editorial cartoons.

Dates typicaly are written in pencil at the bottom of the item; however many cartoons have additional dates written in pen directly below the image. The handwriting of these two dates differs. The date in pencil is likely from Temple or someone else at the newspaper. The source of the other date is unknown. It should be noted that the majority of cartoons list dates in the form of a day of the week and dates for the month and day and sometimes a year. However, when the months and days of the week are checked against a calendar, the years are often incorrect. Correct years have been estimated, noted in pencil on the back of the cartoons within brackets and when possible verified against the scrapbooks containing clippings of published cartoons. The collection also includes ten cartoons that lack complete dates; many of these are likely from 1961.

This particular collection of Temple's work contains cartoons about national and international events with little mention of state and local affairs. Many of Temple's cartoons depict concepts and ongoing issues such as opposed to specific events. For example, Temple explores the world's successes in science and the failure to solve social problems, poverty and population increases. Temple's work frequently focuses on peace. In an article in the January 19, 1969 issue of the Times-Picayune's Sunday magazine, Dixie Roto, Temple remarked, "I suppose I’ve drawn more cartoons in favor of the various peace conferences, disarmament plans and hopes than any other cartoonist in the land." Other prominent topics include auto safety, the failure of the Soviet Union to pay its United Nations' dues, voting requirements, and the effort to have commercial airline flights to Russia. Of particular interest is a cartoon mourning the end of the New York Herald Tribune newspaper, cartoons commemorating the 20th anniverary of the United Nations and a 1962 cartoon about Puerto Rico and statehood.

In addition to labels for specific places, people and concepts, Temple also included longer written statements about particular issues such as in a cartoon about civil rights and racial violence that contains the argument "violence creating more violence- adding to racial problems." Aside from Nikita Khruschev, Ho Chi Minh and Mao, political figures are largely absent from this particular collection of Temple's work. The United States is often represented by an Uncle Sam character while Temple anthropomorphizes both the world and nuclear weapons.

Overall dimensions for each piece are 15" x 20" with image sizes of approximately 12 1/2" x 15 1/2". Works were drawn in ink and crayon on Hi Art brand medium weight illustration board. Dates, notes and some captions appear in pencil.

The Scrapbooks (1965-1967) series is comprised of five scrapbooks of Temple's editorial cartoons published in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Also there are occasionally other brief clippings about Temple included in the scrapbooks.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Original artwork is arranged in chronological order, with one folder of cartoons for which dates were not determined appearing at the end of the collection.

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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


Ho Chi Minh, 1890-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Temple, Keith -- Archives.

Corporate Bodies

Democratic Party (U.S.) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United Nations -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United States. Congress. -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Associated Titles



American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Automobile industry and trade -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Civil rights movements -- United States -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Cold War -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Editorial cartoons -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Nuclear weapons -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Peace -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Science -- Caricatures and cartoons.
World politics -- 1945-1989 -- Caricatures and cartoons.


United States -- Politics and government -- 1961-1963 -- Caricatures and cartoons.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1963-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Editorial cartoons.
Cartoons (humorous images)
Clippings (information artifacts)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Keith Temple Cartoons,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Original cartoons, gift of Keith Temple, 1967. Scrapbooks, gift of Howard-Tilton Memorial Library at Tulane University, 1976.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MD
Date: 11 Nov 2008
Revision history: 11 Nov 2008 - converted to EAD (MD); 2 Sep 2010 - added detailed bio, scope and inventory (SK)

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Click here for a detailed inventory.
See below for an index to the cartoons.
Oversize 1, Folder 1 1961 Apr, 1961 Jun-Jul
Oversize 1, Folder 2 1961 Aug-Sep
Oversize 1, Folder 3 1962 Jun-Aug
Oversize 2, Folder 1 1962 Sep-Oct
Oversize 2, Folder 2 1962 Nov-Dec
Oversize 2, Folder 3 1963 May, 1963 Jul-Sep,
Oversize 2, Folder 4 1963 Oct-Dec
Oversize 3, Folder 1 1964 Jan-Feb, 1964 May, 1964 Jul-Aug, 1964 Oct-Dec
Oversize 3, Folder 2 1965 Feb-Mar
Oversize 3, Folder 3 1965 Apr-Jun
Oversize 4, Folder 1 1965 Jul
Oversize 4, Folder 2 1965 Aug, 1965 Nov-Dec
Oversize 4, Folder 3 1966 Jan-Mar
Oversize 4, Folder 4 1966 Apr-Jun
Oversize 5, Folder 1 1966 Jul-Aug
Oversize 5, Folder 2 1966 Sep
Oversize 5, Folder 3 1966 Oct-Dec
Oversize 5, Folder 4 1967 Jan
Oversize 7, Folder 1 Undated, circa 1961
Oversize 6 1965 Jan-1967 Jan (5 items)

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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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