The Library holds over 11,000 American and British satirical prints from the 17th through the early 20th centuries, including multiple printing states and color variants. The images provide a rich resource for studying the history of American and British politics, as well as the evolution of caricature and satire.
The British holdings date from the 17th through the late 19th centuries, with the majority from the golden age of caricature between 1760 through 1820. The collections are particularly strong in the work of the London caricaturists: notably, the Cruikshanks, James Gillray, William Hogarth and Thomas Rowlandson.
The American holdings range from approximately 1767 to the early 1900s with the majority of works dating from 1844 to 1870. The collection includes both well-known and less recognized American political figures, and contains numerous lithographed works printed and/or published by H. R. Robinson, Nathaniel Currier and Currier & Ives. It is particularly strong in prints relating to the political events leading up to and during the Civil War.