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Popular Culture

Provides resources for popular culture research at the University of Michigan.

Popular Culture At Other Institutions


Bowling Green University

Bowling Green is an internationally recognized resource for Popular Culture studies. The school offers a graduate degree in Popular Culture, and is home to the Center for Popular Culture Studies. The University’s Browne Library is home to over 190,000 titles, most of which are popular fiction titles. The Library also boasts an impressive collection of materials, manuscripts and ephemera related to the entertainment industry and popular entertainment.

Read more here.

Indiana University

Indiana University is nationally recognized for its excellent resources available in the area of film. “The Indiana University Libraries Film Archive (IULFA) is one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive academic film collections. The archive contains more than 55,000 titles spanning nearly 80 years of film production, including many rare and last-remaining copies of influential 20th-century films.” Other collections of note include the Kinsey Institute, the Black Film Center/Archive, and the David Bradley Film collections. Other artists with significant holdings include: John Ford, Orson Welles, Peter Bogdanovich, Clifford Odets, D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille, and F. W. Murnau. Indiana University is also home, in conjunction with Purdue, to the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, which focuses on the work of the prolific and popular science fiction writer.

More about the Indiana film collections here.

More about the Ray Bradbury Center here.


Kent State University

Kent State University is home to collections that are especially strong in regards to the performing arts, including motion pictures, television and contemporary theater. The department is also home to the extensive Borowitz Crime Collection that includes popular media including true crime pulp magazines; ephemera related to films, theatrical productions, and television programs; posters; broadsides; penny dreadfuls; and popular true crime books.

Visit the Kent State University Special Collections Page here.
Vist the Borowitz Crime Collection Page here.

 Michigan State University

“With over 300,000 items the Nye Collection is a major scholarly resource for the study of popular culture from the nineteenth century to the present. It is organized into categories of Comic Art, Science Fiction, Juvenile Literature, Mysteries, Popular Information, Romances, Textbooks, Westerns, Sunday School books and Performing Arts. While the emphasis for years was American popular culture, materials from other countries are now being collected as well. A large clipping file of articles from the popular press supports and complements the collection.”*

"The new “Rovi Media Collection” includes nearly 1 million CDs, Blu-Rays, DVDs and video games.   Patrons can request movies and music through the MSU Libraries catalog, and residents of Michigan can request items through MelCat, the statewide interlibrary loan borrowing system."*

Read more about the Nye Collection here.
Read more about the Rovi Media Collection here.

*Text courtesy of Michigan State University


Northwestern University

The Music Library at Northwestern University contains extensive holdings of printed music and archival materials documenting music composed since 1945. The Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections houses more than 235,000 of Northwestern University Library's most unusual and outstanding items and collections. The Marjorie Iglow Mitchell Multimedia Center houses and provides access to a circulating video library of more than 30,000 titles.

Learn more here.

*Text courtesy of Northwestern University


Ohio State University

Ohio State University of home to a number of internationally recognized popular culture collections. The LIbrary of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute, amongst other collections, are home to primary research materials pertaining to American popular and commercial culture. “The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is the world’s largest special collections library devoted entirely to the study of comics. “Covering comic books, daily strips, Sunday strips, editorial cartoons, graphic novels, magazine cartoons and sports cartoons, the collection includes 450,000 original cartoons, 36,000 books, 51,000 serial titles and 3,000 feet (910 m) of manuscript materials, plus 2.5 million comic strip clippings and tear sheets.” The Thompson Library is also home to a “remarkable collection” of pulp fiction titles.

Read more about Ohio State’s Popular Culture resources here.

*Quoted text courtesy of Northwestern University


University of Minnesota

“University of Minnesota Libraries hold a variety of notable specialized and unusual collections. Examples include the world's largest assembly of materials on Sherlock Holmes and his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; the Kerlan Collection of over 100,000 children's books; the Hess Collection, one of North America's largest collections of dime novels, story papers and pulp fiction; the James Ford Bell Library of rare maps, books and manuscripts, and the seventh largest law library in the United States, including over 1 million volumes and personal papers such as those of Clarence Darrow.”

Learn more here.

*Quoted text courtesy of University of Minnesota


University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has several collections of note as pertaining to popular culture, most significant of which is the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research: “The Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research (WCFTR) boasts a complete collection of Warner Brothers films from 1931 to 1949, including 300 cartoons from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series, and offers a variety of resources for anyone interested in the fields. Housed inside the Wisconsin Historical Society building, the WCFTR comprises an extensive collection of reels and documents from theater, film and popular television produced between the 1930s and 1970s.”

Learn more here.

*Quoted text courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Madison