In June, Lucy Cavendish College at the University of Cambridge announced that it would be launching a campaign to set up a new collection of graphic novels in the College library.
Neil Gaiman, known for novels such as Coraline, The Graveyard Book, and American Gods, has showed his support for the campaign. Gaiman has also written a comic book series called The Sandman, which was adapted into a television series by Netflix earlier this year.
The campaign is being led by Dr Joe Sutliff Sanders, a Lucy Cavendish Fellow, who is determined to make the new project, which would be a historic first for the University, a success.
Dr Sutliff Sanders said: ‘At an 800-year-old institution, it is rare to find an area of academic interest that is still open for the taking, but that is the case with graphic novels: although the dozens of libraries in Cambridge hold an occasional graphic novel here or there or, in one rare instance, roughly a shelf’s worth of graphic novels, there is no library in Cambridge with significant holdings.’
He explained that there is an opportunity to found ‘a world-class’ graphic novels collection and has asked for help with raising funds to turn the project into a reality.
‘Cambridge is the perfect home for a world-class collection of graphic novels, and this is the perfect time to launch it,’ Dr Sutliff Sanders said.
What has Neil Gaiman said about Cambridge graphic novel campaign?
Gaiman said that this project shows that graphic novels have ‘come a long way,’ and ‘tells us all how far comics have come that an 800-year-old University wants to start a collection.’
He encouraged people to donate to the College, saying: ‘To get it off the ground, Joe needs the support of people like us – the comics and Graphic Novels community, whether readers, writers, artists, scholars. It’s a unique opportunity, so I really hope you’ll show your support with a donation.’
For each book purchased with donations, the donor’s name will appear on the graphic novel. Donors will also be invited to the opening launch and future dinners, conferences, and other events, according to Dr Sutliff Sanders’ blog post.
In order to keep in line with the College’s history, Dr Sutliff Sanders said that he will ensure that ‘great graphic novels by women and people of colour are included right from the foundation of the collection.’
‘We will continue to grow the collection in stages over the years and add to it annually,’ he said. ‘But this core collection will prove that there is a place for graphic novels at Cambridge.’