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William Norman Ritchie Cartoons, 1917-1923

Identifier: 108

Collection Overview

This collection consists of "Norman" cartoons from 1917-1923, specifically focusing on the modernizing of Magazine Beach in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1917, the Cambridge city government began talks to build a new bridge connecting Cambridge to Brookline, which would be built over the Charles River and right through Magazine Beach, a popular playground for children. Many opposed the bridge, as depicted in these cartoons, originally printed in the Boston Post. Despite public opinion, the Cottage Farm Bridge was built in 1928 and has since been renamed the Boston University Bridge. These cartoons additionally highlight public concerns over the outdated buildings and amenities present on Magazine Beach.


  • 1917-1923


Access to Collection

This collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection contains a mixture of public domain and copyrighted material. It is the responsibility of the researcher to understand and observe copyright law and to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyright. The materials for which no copyright exists are believed to be in the public domain. For the materials subject to copyright and other intellectual property restrictions, researchers must obtain written permission from the copyright owner(s) if they wish to publish these documents. Questions concerning copyright should be directed to the Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections.


William Norman Ritchie, known for signing his work simply as "Norman," was a political cartoonist throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. On July 16, 1892, he began working at the Boston Post, one of the most popular New England publications during this time period, where he stayed for over fifty years. His work was nationally celebrated for bringing humor to the political climate in the United States. Before shifting his focus to politics, he was well known for his coverage of murder trials such as the Lizzie Borden case in 1893. Throughout his lifetime, he became well versed in politics and was often approached for advice by local politicians. He was a close friend of former President Theodore Roosevelt and was acquaintances with former President Calvin Coolidge. Although many politicans were often the subject of his cartoons, many respected and admired his work at the Post.


1.6 Linear Feet

.2 Cubic Feet

1 boxes (Oversize Box)

10 Items

.375 Gigabytes (10 digital surrogates )

Language of Materials


Organization of Collection

10 items organized by subject in chronological order.

Custodial History

No deed of gift on file. No known history of collection.

Digital Collections

The original drawings from this collection were digitized in April 2016 as Tiff images.

Processing Information

Procesesd and encoded by Nicole Tantum in April, 2016.
Finding Aid to the William Norman Ritchie Cartoons, 1917-1923 108
Nicole Tantum under the supervision of Alyssa Pacy
April 2, 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway
Cambridge MA 02138 USA