Guide to the Superman Comic Book Collection
NMAH.AC.0274

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0274
Creators:
Austin, Terry,
Community Life, Div. of, NMAH, SI.
D.C. Comics Inc.
Lowther, George,
Salkind, Alexander,
Shuster, Joseph,
Siegel, Jerry,
Dates:
ca. 1930s-1985.
Languages:
English
English.
Physical Description:
0.3 cubic feet
2 vertical boxes
Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The collection includes numerous newspaper clippings of the Superman comic strip, 1940-1950, promotional material using the Superman character, Superman comic books, 1944-1978 and illustrations of Superman drawn by Terry Austin in 1984. Dramatic scripts for TV and movie portrayals of Superman in 1977 and 1982 as well as a novel by George Lowther about Superman published in 1942 are also parts of the collection.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Collection organized into six series.
Series 1: Superman illustrations by Terry Austin, 1984
Series 2: Superman motion picture scripts by Alexander Salkind, 1977-1982
Series 3: Superman comic books, 1944-1978
Series 4: Superman (novel) by George Lowther, 1942
Series 5: Superman promotional material, 1947-1985
Series 6: Superman newspaper clippings and comic strips, 1940-1950

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
The Superman character was created and illustrated in the 1930s by two Cleveland high school students, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. At first unable to achieve publication as a comic strip, they got the character incorporated into a 1938 comic book, which was an immediate success. Since then Superman has been syndicated widely in newspapers, books, radio and TV programs, movies and animated cartoons. The character has been extensively used in commercial and public interest advertising campaigns.

Administration
Processing Information note
Collection processed by Dan Darroch, 1987
Author
Finding aid prepared by Dan Darroch
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
This collection was donated by D.C. Comics Incorporated, through Paul Levitz, Vice President, Spring, 1987.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
This collection is open for research use.
Preferred Citation
Superman Comic Book Collection, circa 1930s-1985, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Use note
The Archives Center does not own rights to these images. All requests for permission to use these images for non-museum purposes must be addressed directly to Mr. Driggs: call (718) 338-2245. Publication and production quality duplication is restricted due to complex copyright, publicity rights, and right to privacy issues. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff. Potential users must receive written permission from appropriate rights holders prior to obtaining high quality copies.

Related Archival Materials
Superman artifacts and additional documentary material from D.C. Comics in Community Life collections (separate transaction, accession no. 1987.0213). See also AC0106, Mrs. Curtis B. Patterson Comic Book Collection, 1901-1917.

Ownership and Custodial History
Ownership and Custodial History
This collection was transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Community Life, October 5, 1987.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Superman (Fictitious character) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cartoonists--1930-1990 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Comic strips--1930-1990 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Heroes--1930-1990 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Letters (correspondence)--1920-1930 Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Novels--1940-1950 Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Screenplays--1970-1980 Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scripts (documents) Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Superman (Fictitious character) in mass media Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C., 20013-7012
Phone: 202-633-3270
archivescenter@si.edu