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Finding Aid to the Rube Goldberg Archive of Cartoon Drawings and Related Pictorial Material
BANC PIC 1964.046-.048  
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Collection Overview
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This incomplete guide provides an item listing of more than 2,320 original Rube Goldberg drawings for cartoon strips (comics) housed in portfolio volumes 1 through 25, and approximately 1,190 editorial cartoons housed in portfolio volumes 26 through 36. An estimated 1,100 additional editorial cartoon drawings, in portfolio volumes 37 through 55, are not yet itemized.
Rube Goldberg, dean of American cartoonists, was born Reuben Lucius Goldberg on July 4, 1883, in San Francisco. He began drawing at an early age, and wanted to become a cartoonist, but at his father's insistence, he studied engineering at the University of California. After graduation in 1904, he worked as an assistant in the city engineer's office, San Francisco. He quit the job in six months, however, and worked first on the San Francisco Chronicle and then the Bulletin as a sports cartoonist. In 1907 he went to New York and became sports illustrator for the Evening Mail, gradually working into wholly humorous cartoons. During the fourteen years he was with the Mail he created the comic features which brought him national fame: Boob McNutt, Foolish Questions, Mike and Ike, Life's Little Jokes, and the zany inventions which made him the wizard of gadgetry. He left the paper in 1921 and syndicated his cartoons. At the same time he tried his hand at composing songs, writing stories and articles, which appeared in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Vanity Fair and Collier's. In 1938 he became editorial cartoonist for the New York Sun and in 1948 was awarded the Pulitzer prize for his cartoon, "Peace Today," which showed a blissful American family seated on top of an atomic bomb, which teetered between world control and world destruction. Humorist and author, as well as cartoonist, he wrote a number of books, including Is There a Doctor in the House (1929), Rube Goldberg's Guide to Europe (1954), How to Remove the Cotton from a Bottle of Aspirin (1959), and I Made My Bed, by Kathy O'Farrell, as told to Rube Goldberg (1960), a spoof on the personal confession type of autobiography. Mr. Goldberg gave his papers, including the drawings and other material described in this guide, to the Bancroft Library in 1964. Rube Goldberg died in 1970.
4100 items : 5 albums (cartoons and photographic prints), approximately 57 portfolios (approximately 4,000 original drawings), 22 lantern slides, some objects and memorabilia
Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Portfolios (BANC PIC 1964.047--ffALB) of Goldberg's cartoon drawings: RESTRICTED DUE TO FRAGILITY. Available by appointment only. Requests for use of original must be approved by the appropriate curator.