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John W. Lindell Collection

Identifier: uflindell

Scope and Content

A collection of cartoon, comic strip and animation art anthologies and histories collected, as a hobby, by financial executive John W. Lindell of St. Petersburg, Florida, from 1953 through 2007. The collection includes close to 1,000 books by individual artists (Thomas Nast, Norman Rockwell, Alberto Vargas, Bill Mauldin, Charles Addams, Jules Feiffer, Edward Gorey, William Steig, James Thurber, R. Crumb, Theodore "Dr. Seuss" Geisel, etc.) and 220 books of anthologies published by various magazines such as The New Yorker, Punch, Playboy, Mad Magazine, National Lampoon, The Saturday Evening Post and Esquire as well as those edited by individuals (Lawrence Laniar, George Herriman, Hugh Hefner, etc.). There are also 150 paperback (pocket) books of individual artists (Charles Schulz, Mort Walker, Hank Ketchum, Chester Gould, Walt Kelly, etc.) as well as comic strip anthologies ("Pogo," "Dick Tracy," "Dennis the Menace," "B.C.," "Garfield," "Peanuts," "Doonesbury," "Beetle Bailey," etc.)

This all-encompassing gift is a great source of reference material for research in the history of illustration, comic strips, comic books and political cartoons. The oldest item in the collection is a 1905 paperback pulp anthology of the "Brainy Bowers and Drowsey Duggan" comic strip from the Chicago Daily News and the latest additions are political cartoon anthologies from the dawning of the 21st Century.


  • Creation: 1905-2007



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

While on vacation or when in a new city or town, the favorite pastime of collector John W. Lindell was to search the used bookstores for, what he called, "those nuggets that I can add to my library." Mr. Lindell's specialized area of collecting was cartoon, comic strip and animation art, a hobby he began as a serviceman in 1953. For 50 years, as a diversion from his studies (earning a BA in Mathematics and Accounting from Northwest Missouri State University and an MBA from the University of Missouri) and the "strict' discipline of a career as a financial executive, John Lindell browsed flea markets, book sales and used book stores, across the country, amassing a fascinating and colorful collection of over 1000 titles dating back to the early 1900s.

"I just bought this one book. I don't know why. It just fascinated me," Mr. Lindell told a reporter (writing a story on local collectors and the passion for collecting) for the St. Petersburg Times in 2003. "It was a compilation of five earlier books by William Steig, the dean of cartoonists for The New Yorker. This single purchase led to the need to collect the work of other New Yorker cartoonists such as Peter Arno, Saul Steinberg and Gahan Wilson. Mr. Lindell then set his collecting sights on political cartoons, classic comic strips and legendary comic strip and cartoon artists and illustrators.

John W. Lindell was born in York, Nebraska in 1932 and spent his formative years in Shenandoah, Iowa. Marriage, career and family led to homes in Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Houston and New Orleans. Mr. and Mrs. Lindell moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1987 where he continued to spend many hours searching for the next "nugget" to add to his vast accumulation of comic art resource material. John W. Lindell died on May 28, 2008.

Mr. Lindell often thought about preserving and sharing his collection and he was inspired by the veteran cartoonist, J. Arthur Wood, who donated his own collection of art and reference material to the Library of Congress in 2003. Mr. Lindell's daughter, Ann Lindell (Head Librarian, UF Architecture and Fine Arts Library) encouraged him to consider the University of Florida as a repository for his half century of joyful collecting. Due to the generosity and consideration of his widow and family, this possibility became a reality in 2008.


60 Linear feet (Approximately 1200 titles)

Language of Materials



Collection of cartoon, comic strip and animation art anthologies and histories collected by John W. Lindell from 1953 through 2007. The collection includes close to 1,000 books by individual artists and 220 books of anthologies published by various magazines. There are also 150 paperback (pocket) books of individual artists and comic strip anthologies.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

In August, 2008, the complete John W. Lindell Collection was donated, in his memory, to the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries by his wife, Marjorie A. Lindell and his daughter, Ann Lindell (Head Librarian, UF Architecture and Fine Arts Library) to support and enhance the holdings in The Suzy Covey Comic Book Collection in the Popular Culture Collections of the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections.

Related Material

For related materials and information, see also the Suzy Covey Comic Book Collection, Comic Studies at the UF English Department, the Jim Liversidge Popular Culture Collection, and the J. Arthur Wood, Jr. Collection of Cartoon Art, The Library of Congress

Processing Notes

The complete collection has been inter-filed (using the Library of Congress call number classification) within the general Popular Culture monograph holdings in the Department of Special and Area Studies. Each item is non-circulating outside of the Department, but each title may be requested for use in the Grand Research Room (2nd floor of the Smathers Library - Library East) of the Department of Special and Area Studies. A book list (included with this guide) is arranged alphabetically by the author or artist's name and includes the publisher, date of publication and call number. A complete catalog record may be found online. Each volume is linked to a virtual bookplate ("Gift of Marjorie A. and Ann Lindell") in the Smathers Libraries online catalog.

A Guide to the John W. Lindell Collection
Finding aid created by Jim Liversidge
November 2010
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America