Cartoons and Stereotypes consists of caricatures and stereotyped images of African Americans from the 1830s to the 1960s. Similar images can be found in Entertainers, the Helen Armstead-Johnson Photograph Collection, and in the Stereograph collection.
The collection consists of half-tone prints and photographic reproductions of sheet music covers and prints. Subjects depicted include Blackface minstrelsy, political satire, and racist portrayals of African Americans in various domestic and social situations. Also included are political and editorial cartoons relating to such issues as black labor, Jim Crow, and racial violence.
Three-fourths of the collection consists of a 146-page unbound scrapbook of cartoons (1880s-early 1900s) clipped from various newspapers and magazines including Harper's Bazaar, Godey's Magazine, and the Baltimore American, accompanied by captions written in black dialect. The majority of the cartoons are by Peter Newell, however, also included is work by C. M. Coolidge, D. K. Este, E. W. Kemble, F. T. Richards, W. L. Sheppard, and L. H. Stephens.