The Daily Worker and Daily World Cartoon Collection
Language of Materials
The Daily Worker and Daily World Cartoon Collection contains a wide range of cartoons and sketches published and submitted for publication to the official organ of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA), the Daily Worker (and its various later forms). The Daily Worker's editorial positions reflected the policies of the CPUSA. The paper also attempted to speak to the broad left-wing community in the United States that included labor, civil rights, and peace activists, with stories covering a wide range of events, organizations and individuals in the United States and around the world. As a daily newspaper, it covered the major stories of the twentieth century. However, the paper always placed an emphasis on radical social movements, social and economic conditions particularly in working class and minority communities, poverty, labor struggles, racial discrimination, right wing extremism with an emphasis on fascist and Nazi movements, and of course the Soviet Union and the world-wide Communist movement. The paper has had a succession of names and has been published in varying frequences between daily to weekly over the course of its existence. In 2010 it ceased print publication and became an electronic, online-only, weekly publication titled the People's World. A number of different artists are represented in the collection, including: Fred Ellis, Eric (James Erickson), Hugo Gellert, Norman Goldberg, Ollie Harrington, Hal Kinkaid, Robert Minor, and Joseph Seymour, among numerous others. A large portion of the cartoons in the collection are original, signed drawings, but also present are newsprint copies and pre-press prints. The material in the collection ranges in date from the late 1920s up through the 2002, though is predominantly from the 1940s-1980s. The topics covered by the cartoons are as diverse as was the coverage of the Daily Worker. Focusing heavily on capitalism, civil rights, civil liberties, labor, and the Vietnam War, as well as caricatures of Presidents and other influential politicians, the cartoons provide a narrative for the major events of the 20th century, particularly those that effected the left-wing community in the US.
The Daily Worker, the official organ of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA), traces its origins back to the Communist Labor Party, founded in Chicago in 1919. The Communist Labor Party's paper was known as the Toiler. When the Communist Labor Party and the Workers Party merged in 1921, the Toiler became the weekly paper The Worker. Two years later, the paper changed its name to the Daily Worker. As a daily newspaper, the Daily Worker covered the major stories of the 20th century, while at the same time speaking to the left-wing sector of the American population, which included labor, civil rights, and peace activists. The newspaper emphasized radical social movements, labor struggles, racial discrimination, right wing extremism, the Soviet Union, and the world-wide Communist movement.
The CPUSA grew under increasing attack following WWII. The rise of McCarthyism and the Red Scare eventually forced the Party to go underground, and in 1958, the Daily Worker shut down operation. In 1960, it resumed bi-weekly publication as The Worker, but never achieved the level of popularity it had in the 1930s and 1940s.
In 1967, the paper now known as the Daily World, again became a daily. It reported on the civil rights movement, including sit-ins, voter registration campaigns and the Freedom Rides. In the late 1960s and into the early 1970s, the Daily World aligned itself with the anti-Vietnam War and black nationalist movements.
In 1986 the paper merged with the CPUSA's West Coast weekly, the People's World. The newly formed People's Daily World was published from 1987 until 1991, when daily publication was abandoned in favor of a weekly edition, renamed the People's Weekly World. During this period the paper focused heavily on labor union activity, particularly in cities like Detroit and Chicago, as well as the growing anti-globalization movement.
Shifting its operations back to Chicago between 2001 and 2002, the paper changed its name to the People's World in 2009. In 2010, the paper ceased print publication and became an electronic, online-only, publication.
Specific artists represented in the Daily Worker/ Daily World Cartoon Collection include: Fred Ellis, Ollie Harrington, Hugo Gellert, Norman Goldberg, Kinkaid, and James Erickson (Eric), among numerous others.
The collection is arranged in four series: I: Biographical Cartoons; II: Subject Cartoons; III: Cartoons by Artist; IV: Ephemera and other Graphics.
All series are arranged first alphabetically and then chronologically. Due to space constraints, physical arrangement of materials does not match intellectual arrangement.
Scope and Content Note
The Daily Worker and Daily World Cartoon Collection consists of original and copied cartoons and sketches produced for the Daily Worker/Daily World and its later incarnations. There is a small amount of non-cartoon graphics and ephemera in the collection. The material ranges in date from 1928-2002, but is largely from the 1940s-1980s. The Collection is arranged into four series, the first two of which were pulled from the Daily Worker and Daily World Photograph Collection (PHOTOS 223). Like that Collection, here there is a Biographical Series, which includes cartoons depicting individuals, and a Subject Series. The cartoons in these two series are as diverse as the topics covered by the newspaper, including in the Biographical Series prominent radical and progressive leaders, as well as US Presidents, labor leaders, and cultural figures. The subjects, too, are diverse and cover not only major issues facing communists such as capitalism and labor, civil liberties, McCarthyism and witch hunts, and struggles for peace but also a wide range of everyday images as well, such as beaches, children, education, and holidays.
Included in the Collection are cartoons, both original and copies, from several prominent artists. These include: Fred Ellis, Eric (James Erickson), Norman Goldberg, Ollie Harrington, Hal Kincaid, Robert Minor, among dozens more. There are enough cartoons by each artist, that his/her general but unique style is conveyed. Of particular note are the hundreds of original sketches and drawings from Fred Ellis as well as scrapbooks of his printed cartoons. There is a small sketchbook from Robert Minor, a signature from Hugo Gellert, and a signed sketch from Pete Seeger.
Conditions Governing Access
Materials are open without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection, created by the Communist Party, USA was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.
Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date; The Daily Worker and Daily World Cartoon Collection; GRAPHICS 024.001; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The bulk of the Daily Worker and Daily World Cartoon Collection was transferred to the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives as part of the donation of the Communist Party of the USA archives and the Library of the Reference Center for Marxist Studies in the summer of 2006. Series I and II came directly out of the Daily Worker and Daily World Photographs Collection (PHOTOS 223), that collection too came in with the CPUSA donation in 2006. The accession numbers 2006.042 is associated with these materials. A small number of cartoons were donated by Sam Darcy's daughter in 2007. The accession number NPA.2007.029 is associated with this gift. A final donation of cartoons was made by Bill Andrews in 2011. The bulk of this gift is the Bill Andrews Editorial Cartoons and Papers (GRAPHICS 038). Artwork created by other artists for publication in the Daily Worker, The Worker and the Daily World were separated to this collection. The accession number 2011.120 is associated with this gift.
About this Guide
The material in the Daily Worker and Daily World Cartoon Collection was assembled from two sources, the 2006 donation from the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) and the Reference Center for Marxist Studies and directly out of the Daily Worker and Daily World Photographs Collection, which was also part of the 2006 donation. The cartoons from the CPUSA were loosely arranged by artist. This arrangement was maintained by the archivist. Additionally, the cartoons in Series I and II that came directly out of the Daily Worker and Daily World Photographs Collection, from its Biographical Series and Subject Series, were transferred into folder titles of the same name from which they came.
Cartoons were put into new acid-free folders and boxes. Acid-free Interleaving was used to separate original drawings.