Manga, or Japanese comic books, are a popular art topic not only in Japan, but also outside of it, with most large bookstores opening entire sections with translated editions in the United States.
One less known thing among manga fans is that the world’s largest collection of manga outside of Japan is held by the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum in Ohio, the United States.
The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is part of Ohio State University Libraries and was named after a former Dispatch cartoonist. It was created in 1977 and it started by displaying the collections of artwork and papers donated by two cartoonists to the university, according to the international press.
At that time, the collection included several manga volumes. Starting with the mid-‘80s, Japanese librarian Maureen Donovan began regularly acquiring untranslated manga for the collection.
Until July 2012, almost 18,000 Japanese newspapers, magazines and volumes of manga series were included in the collection. Many English translations are now available to students, scholars and staff members who cannot read Japanese.
Currently, the biggest manga collection in the United States is being moved to Sullivant Hall, a recently renovated place.