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Treasure 112: Political cartoons
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Treasure 112: Political cartoons

Historic Documents
Léa Moreau
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Treasure 112: Political cartoons
Historic Documents
Treasure 112: Political cartoons
This month we have chosen to exhibit a selection of the political cartoons held by Aberdeen City Libraries in light of the current political backdrop of our impending local elections and the recent invocation of Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union.

Flourishing in the middle of the 19th century, cartoons attracted the upper classes with their subversive meanings, and also illiterate people with their blatant caricature. Aberdeen City Libraries hold a set of various political cartoons. Those exhibited highlight how they were used as a way of denigrating politicians. Looking at a political cartoon can determine the cartoonist's opinion on a specific issue or event. Satirical drawings usually focus on contemporary political events, which can be taking place on a national scale or on a small scale.

Understanding a cartoon or a caricature relies on some knowledge of its context. Unfortunately, our loose sheets of cartoons were not kept with any additional documentation. As a result, it is not always easy to associate the cartoons with a specific event. Looking for information by using other resources, such as historical newspapers for example, can provide interesting leads. By the middle of the nineteenth century, more and more newspapers included political cartoons to express opinion on the politics of the day. In Great Britain, these satirical prints further developed through cartoonist's magazines, including the periodical Punch, exhibited as a library treasure in May 2016.

To see more examples of political cartoons, have a look at the Treasures from our Collections digital exhibition on the touch screens
Aberdeen Local Studies
Other Items Like This
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Treasure 104: Suffragette Newsletters
Treasure 55: Punch
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