Welcome to Special Collections

the Special Collections reading room at the MSU Library

The Reading Room

The Special Collections unit of the Michigan State University Libraries collects, houses, and preserves rare and unique materials within the MSU Libraries. Our materials cover a vast array of topics from Africana to Veterinary Medicine. These materials are available to the public in our reading room.

Learn more: About Us »

Discover Special Collections

One specialty of the Michigan State University Libraries' Comic Art Collection is the non-fiction comics of the 1940s, and a complete run of True Comics is the centerpiece of this part of the collection. More information requests come to us through our online index to this title than from any other title in our collection.

True Comics was begun in 1941 to "counteract the wild, rowdy superhero comics," according to comics historian Ron Goulart (The Comic Book Reader's Companion, HarperPerennial, 1993). The editors were David Marke, a historian, and later Elliot Caplin, a prolific comics writer.

True Comics, it could be said, sparked a small genre of non-fiction newsstand comics. Real Heroes, from the same publisher, lasted 21 issues (1941-1946), and other publishers produced similar titles: Real Life Comics (1941-1952), and Real Fact Comics (1946-1949), for example. True Comics was the most successful, lasting until 1950 and producing 84 issues.


Special Collections
MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing
MI, 48824


During the Fall and Spring semesters when classes are in session, Special Collections is open for the following hours:

Mon - Fri: 9am to 5pm
Sun: 1pm - 5pm

See the hours' web page for the most up to date hours.