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New Zealand Cartoon Archive

The New Zealand Cartoon Archive includes over 50,000 cartoons reflecting New Zealand society and politics. It contains cartoons and caricatures from the 19th century to the present.

The New Zealand Cartoon Archive is contained within the Alexander Turnbull Library Drawings, Paintings and Prints collection.

A cartoon gallery of 'Wellington hairdos', illustrating aspects of areas of Wellington. They include 'The Terrace twirl', 'The Hutt Valley flyer', 'The Pt Jerningham centre part', 'The Majestic updraft', 'The Mt Cook moustache', 'the Newtown following breeze', 'The Beaufort de-scale (Brooklyn)', 'The Khandallah kiss', 'The Island Bay salt lick' and 'The Beehive (flag optional)'.
Sharon Murdoch, Wellington Hairdos, September 2013. Ref: DCDL-0026505.

The New Zealand Cartoon Archive was launched on 1 April 1992 as a partnership between the New Zealand Cartoon Archive Trust and the Alexander Turnbull Library. In 2005 the Cartoon Archive was fully absorbed into the Turnbull Library, and the Trust was replaced with a Guardians committee. The Cartoon Archive collection continues to grow steadily with hundreds of new digital items added every month.

The Cartoon Archive includes:

  • Cartoons and caricatures by and about New Zealanders, especially on politics and social life
  • Digital copies of newspaper and magazine cartoons, from ca 2005 to the present, by cartoonists such as Tom Scott, Bob Brockie, Chris Slane, Sharon Murdoch and David Fletcher
  • Original cartoon drawings from the 20th and 21st centuries by cartoonists such as Nevile Lodge, Eric Heath and Peter Bromhead

The New Zealand Cartoon Archive is the collection of cartoons and caricatures held by the Turnbull Library. The Alexander Turnbull Library does the following:

  • Describes, houses and arranges access to the archive of cartoons and caricatures
  • Offers a service for distance enquiries about cartoons. Access this service using the Ask a Librarian form
  • Offers a service to order copies from the collection (see below)
  • Collaborates with the Guardians of the New Zealand Cartoon Archive on cartoon-related events and exhibitions

The Guardians of the New Zealand Cartoon Archive is a group that initiates cartoon publications, exhibitions and events. They also maintain an independent website, where you can read about the history of the Cartoon Archive, as well as news and information on New Zealand cartoons and cartoonists.

How to view cartoons in this collection

Digitally born cartoons, and print cartoons that have been digitised, are viewable on their record pages.

If you want to see non-digitised print cartoons, use the ‘Send an Enquiry’ button on the record’s page.

How to order copies from this collection

You can order colour or black and white copies of items in this collection, if copying doesn’t breach copyright. For out-of-copyright works, or once copyright permission has been obtained, we can provide digital copies for reproduction in publications, films and websites, and digital prints suitable for framing.

Cartoons are in copyright if the cartoonist is still living or if they have been deceased for less than 50 years. If you would like to order a cartoon that is in copyright, you can use the Ask a Librarian form to obtain contact details for the cartoonist or copyright holder.

More about making copies

More about copyright and privacy