With more than 3 million pieces of art and oddities in the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum collection, you'd need a lot of time to see it all.

Thankfully, there is no shortage of time for those who want to view original cartoons, comic books or merchandise from illustrators and cartoonists throughout the years.

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, 1813 N. High St., Columbus, is free and open to the public year-round. The museum is inside Sullivant Hall on the Ohio State University campus.

The museum was the fifth stop on ThisWeek Community News’ “Hidden Gems around central Ohio” video series. Previous stops included American Whistle Corp., Central Ohio Symphony, Anthony-Thomas Candy Co. and Akiba Arcade.

The museum was founded in 1977, said Caitlin McGurk, associate curator and assistant professor at the library and museum.

The museum currently has more than 300,000 original cartoons and artwork, 30,000 comic books, more than 6,000 boxes of manuscript materials and 2.5 million comic-strip clippings and newspaper pages in its collection, McGurk said.

In addition, merchandise and cosplay costumes can be found in the library, she said.

Recent collections added to the library's extensive catalog include works by Dan DeCarlo, who created the "Archie," "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and "Josie and the Pussycats" comics, and more than 16,000 original "Marmaduke" cartoons.

The museum has two exhibits that rotate throughout the year. The current exhibits are "Drawing Blood: Comics and Medicine," about doctors, narcotics, mental health or medical procedures used over the years, and "Front Line: Editorial Cartoonists and the First Amendment," which looks at political and editorial cartoons.

The "Drawing Blood" and "Front Line" exhibits opened April 20 and will be on display through Oct. 20.

In addition to the two rotating galleries, the first area that guests walk through is called "Treasures," McGurk said. The majority of the work in the "Treasures" gallery stays the same throughout the year, she said.

For example, a collection of "Calvin & Hobbes" artwork always will be on display, as it is one of the more popular collections, McGurk said.

The museum's hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. The library and reading room is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

For more information, go to http://cartoons.osu.edu.


Where should we go for our “Hidden Gems around central Ohio” video series?

Email your suggestions to online@thisweeknews.com with the subject line “Hidden Gems.”