Skip to main content

Currier & Ives Darktown Prints

Call Number: JWJ MSS 158

Scope and Contents

A collection of caricatures of African Americans published by the firm Currier & Ives as a series of "Darktown" comics. The drawings were made by artists associated with the firm, primarily John Cameron (1828-1906) and Thomas Worth (1834-1917). Also present are restrikes of "Darktown" images published later by Joseph Koehler in New York and S. Lipschitz & Son in London.

At the folder level, references are provided to the two standard Currier & Ives catalogues: Currier & Ives: a Catalogue Raisonné (Detroit: Gale Research, 1983) and Currier & Ives Prints: an Illustrated Checklist, by Frederick A. Conningham (New York: Crown Publishers, 1983).


  • 1880-1907
  • Majority of material found within 1880 - 1896


Language of Materials

Captions in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Currier & Ives Darktown Prints 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 Carl Van Vechten, 1965; Gift of Julia Millhiser Gimbel, 1973. Other acquisitions are noted at the folder level.


Organized into two series: I. Published by Currier & Ives, 1880-1896. II. Restrikes, 1907.


0.5 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

Currier & Ives

Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives, publishers of popular prints in New York between 1857 and 1907. After the firm disbanded, other publishers, including Joseph Koehler in New York and S. Lipschitz in London, acquired the company's lithographic stones and reprinted the images.

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, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

Currier & Ives Darktown Prints
In Progress
by Beinecke Staff
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.