The Norris Cartoon Collection, 1660 cartoons, is
the largest single collection of the work of one of the outstanding
cartoonists of the 20th century. Len Norris was born in London England
in 1913 and died in 1997. From 1950 to 1988 Norris worked as an
editorial cartoonist for The Vancouver Sun. This collection
was acquired by SFU Library in 1995 and was the remainder of Len's
personal collection. Previously the National
Archives of Canada and the Provincial
Archives of B.C. had taken the cartoons related to national
or provincial political leaders. But what a remainder! This collection
is mainly of the social history of B.C.; the life of the people
of the province.
Here are all the famous stock caricatures; the
cop on the beat, the school teacher on the verge of a nervous
breakdown, Filbert Phelps the unbearable school menace, Rodney
the wealthy malcontent, the artsy crowd putting on airs, the obstreperous
government bureaucrat, the unkempt student radical, the staid
professor, everyman in his (un)easy chair fuming at the latest
newspaper headline, and the long-suffering wives or mothers of
all of the above. The devil is in the details so it is said. Look
at Norris's details. The dogs and cats and table lamps and pictures
on the wall. They are a real rendering of the details of the time
with Norris's special comic twist. The people who lived through
the events dealt with here know that Norris had the ability to
see into the heart of the matter. SFU Library Special Collections
and Rare Books is proud to present The Len Norris Collection.
Acknowledgements from Scott Norris
"I would like to thank the people responsible
for the SFU Library Editorial Cartoon Collection, it is very impressive.
As Len Norris' grandson, I know our family is very proud of him,
and are pleased to see that future generations will be able to enjoy
his work [through] the internet. I must say that it is a very
well designed site, and the quality of the scans is excellent.
Being that I'm only in my 30s, I never really saw a lot of the early
cartoons from the 50s and 60s. I'm glad to see that his donation
of cartoons to your university didn't just sit in boxes in some
storage room, never to be viewed. For many British Columbians,
this library is a chance for them to see it as well. I'm always
amazed at how many of the issues from 20 and 30 years ago are still
relevant today. I hope you maintain this library, and look forward
to the day when I can show my son what his great-grandfather did."