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Welcome to the Opper Project

The Opper Project, named after Ohioan Frederick Burr Opper, the first great American-born cartoonist, is an on-line collection of historic editorial cartoons. Covering more than one hundred years of American history, the cartoons are organized topically with associated lesson plans.

The cartoons are from the collection of The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Most are American, but you will also find the views of some international cartoonists on the America of their day. There are some famous cartoons here, but most of the images are not the ones typically reproduced in text books and instructional materials.

All the cartoons are evocative and teachable, however. And to help you get started, they come with teacher-created lesson plans tied to the Ohio Academic Content Standards.

The Opper Project is on-going, so look for the addition of more topics and more cartoons.

Lesson Plans
Editorial Cartoons: An Introduction
History of Editorial Cartoons
Biography of Opper

Caricature Worksheet
Symbols Worksheet
Editorial Cartoon Analysis Worksheet

Drawing Swords: War in American Editorial Cartoons

Thomas Nast
Cartoons for the Classroom


Email general inquiries to the Opper Project.
See below for information about copyright and image usage. Emails related to image use and copyright should be directed to The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at cartoons@osu.edu.

Usage and Copyright:

All lesson plans, handouts, worksheets and other textual content on this website are copyright © The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Cartoons are in the public domain unless otherwise noted.

Permitted non-profit educational uses of images and materials on this website include: distribution to classes, projection in the classroom, posting on unrestricted educational web sites, printouts as personal research notes, printouts to illustrate student papers or drafts of faculty papers, and projected illustration for presentations at conferences. Permitted uses do NOT include: printed publication in scholarly publications, printed publication in publicity materials, commercial uses of any type, or any other uses. All uses should contain the acknowledgement: From the Opper Project. Please contact The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at cartoons@osu.edu should you have questions related to usage.