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Walter O. Evans collection of Ollie Harrington artwork

Call Number: JWJ MSS 236

Content Description

The collection contains drawings, ink and pencil on paper, of cartoons created by Ollie Harrington. Many items contain handwritten or typed captions. Some annotations and markings related to the publishing process are also present.


  • circa 1965-1987, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Walter O. Evans Collection of Ollie Harrington Artwork is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Walter O. and Linda Evans, 2020.


Arranged into two series: I. Grayscale drawings, circa 1965-1987, undated. II. Color drawings, undated.


65.5 Linear Feet (36 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

Ollie Harrington

Oliver "Ollie" Wendell Harrington (1912-1995) was an American cartoonist and civil rights activist. Born in Valhalla, New York, Harrington was an active participant in the Harlem renaissance, producing cartoons for the Amsterdam News. He studied Fine Arts at Yale University, but did not finish his degree due to the United States entry into World War II. Harrington's staunch advocacy for civil rights was evident in his cartoons, which depicted the lives of African Americans enduring poverty, racism, and disenfranchisement, alongside everyday humorous situations. His published works include his cartoon series include "Dark Laughter" (later renamed "Bootsie) and "Jive Gray," along with extensive cartoons published in outlets including Der Spiegel. Harrington left the United States to live in Paris, France for a number of years before taking up long-term residence in East Berlin, Germany where he lived from 1961 until the end of his life.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection or revisions in arrangement and description.

Walter O. Evans Collection of Ollie Harrington Artwork
by Rosemary K. J. Davis, Tina Evans, and Greyson Gates
October 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.