Wertham Papers on Display


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Comics CodeWashington City Paper reports that in May, the Library of Congress opened 222 containers of psychiatrist Fredric Wertham’s papers.  Wertham in 1954 wrote Seduction of the Innocent which targeted comic books for corrupting youth and leading to juvenile deliquency.  This sparked a decade long attack on comic books including Senate hearings.

The Library of Congress has had the papers since 1987 and have been sealed except to people approved by Wertham’s estate (all two of them).  The collection includes, notes, drafts and material related to his work.

The uproar caused by Wertham lead to the Comic Code Authority, crippling entire genres of comics, and the creation of Mad Magazine.

The Fredric Wertham papers are open by appointment, and a list of what they include is online.