Dowd Illustration Research Archive
The Dowd Illustration Research Archive (DIRA) is a tremendous resource supporting scholarship and teaching related to illustration and visual culture, featuring the most comprehensive archival collection of periodical illustration held by an academic institution.
Established in 2007 as a collaborative effort of the WashU Libraries and the Sam Fox School, the DIRA aims to acquire, preserve, promote, and bring sustained academic consideration to the culture of illustration, with particular emphasis on the illustrated periodical.
The growing range of the collection extends from book, magazine, and advertising illustration to comics in all their forms, caricature, poster design, and virtually every aspect of visual culture. A particular focus is 20th-century periodical illustration, including the collections of some of America’s premier illustrators such as Al Parker, Robert Weaver, Henry Raleigh, and others. The collection also includes the Walt Reed Illustration Archive, a distinguished resource comprising original illustrations, periodicals, books, and magazine tear sheets from the 1860s-1970s.
The DIRA collections represent some of the most significant figures in graphic media past and present, including:
Robert Andrew Parker
John Held, Jr.
Atkin Family Collection of WWI Posters