Comics Have Research Value at the AHC



An advocate for literacy and education, in 1994 Stan Lee participated in educational events open to the community at the UW campus. American Heritage Center – Events of 1994 – Stan Lee and Spider-Man April 12-14 Photo File, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

by Amanda Stow, Assistant Archivist
American Heritage Center

Comic book writer Stan Lee turned 95 in December, and he’s still at work.

Providing evidence to all his decades of work in the comic book industry, and its expansion to other entertainment media such as film and television, is the American Heritage Center’s collection of Lee’s papers, which continues to grow. Lee’s papers are a valuable educational resource, particularly to the University of Wyoming’s students.

Stan Lee signing comic books for former Wyoming First Lady Win Hickey, 1994 at UW. American Heritage Center – Events of 1994 – Stan Lee and Spider-Man April 12-14 Photo File, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Lee’s collection includes early twentieth century comics, manuscripts of his columns, and fan mail. Students and faculty in multiple disciplines use Lee’s collection to study literature, American Studies, social studies education, and more for research papers, theses, and curriculum development.

From his papers students learn about different facets of US culture from the twentieth century, including politics and social constructs, for example the Civil Rights Movement.

Comics from Lee’s collection often depict harsh realities of US culture and manuscripts; his columns discuss his reasoning for writing about particular social issues. Fan mail in the collection tell why particular characters or story lines are important to people, and from these letters students can learn about societal concerns at certain points in US history.

Open to the public, Lee’s papers are also a resource for anyone who is interested, whether for personal interest or for academic study. For these reasons, Lee’s comics and papers are frequently used, and are a valuable asset to the AHC and the education of its students and the wide number of communities it serves.

Rest easy, citizens, the AHC is on the job, promoting and protecting history and culture.

Reposted with permission from the American Heritage Center blog.

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