The Library of Congress announced Wednesday that collector and entrepreneur Stephen A. Geppi has donated more than 3,000 items to the Library of Congress from his personal collection of art and comic books. The donation is valued in the multimillion-dollar range and contains comic books, original art, newspapers, pins, buttons and related materials. Certain items will be put on display starting this summer. The mint-condition collection showcases various art styles from numerous perspectives across many eras of pop culture and comics.
One signature item in the Stephen A. Geppi Collection of Comics and Graphic Arts is a group of six rare storyboards that chronicle the action of Walt Disney’s 1928 film, Plane Crazy, documenting the creation of Mickey Mouse. It was the first produced cartoon to feature the character, though it was the third to be released.
Carla Hayden of the Library of Congress said in a statement, “The appeal of comic books is universal, and we are thrilled that this new addition to the collections will make them even more accessible to people worldwide.” Geppi’s collection is one of the largest pop-culture donations in the Library of Congress’ long history. When asked about his donation, Geppi said, “When I began collecting comic books as a young boy and then in earnest in 1972, I would have never dreamed that a major portion of my collection would find a home at the Library of Congress…”
Geppi also added, “This gift will help celebrate the history of comics and pop culture and their role in promoting literacy.”
Geppi is the owner of Diamond Comics Distributors, located in Baltimore. He stated that he will continue to build his own personal collection of comics and pop culture memorabilia. He also views his initial donation to The Library of Congress as the spark of a fruitful relationship between collector and curator. Geppi’s collection expands upon and plugs the metaphorical holes in the Library’s existing collection of comic books.