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The Marie Duval Archive

A visual image database of the work of 19th-century cartoonist and actress Marie Duval

Marie Duval was one of the most unusual, pioneering and boisterous cartoonists of the nineteenth century. This archive offers for scrutiny high resolution scans of as much of Duval’s published work as possible, organised according to date and details of publication.

The archive consists of newly commissioned high-resolution scans that can be zoomed. The scope of the Search, List and Browse functions offered by the site is outlined on the Search page, along with a Search rationale and rationales for the inclusion or exclusion from the archive of unsigned work and reprints.

The archive is a work in progress. A handful of known items are yet to be included and are listed with sources. However, all of Duval’s work in Judy magazine (full name: Judy or the London serio-comic journal) is included, because this is where she was primarily employed, and where she made her reputation. This work numbers almost 950 items.
A great deal more remains to be done and many challenges face the Duval archivist, which lie beyond the aim of this archive. Foremost among these challenges is the current fragmentary nature of her biography and the chronology of her theatre career, and the absence of any known original drawings, probably due to the fast turn-around of print technology of the period and the contemporaneous categorisation of the papers for which she drew as ephemera.

As a groundbreaking female cartoonist depicting a long-overlooked urban, often working class milieu, the wide range and quantity of her work has been forgotten. The archive is part of an Arts and Humanties Research Council Early Career Award-funded project that also encompasses a forthcoming book on Duval’s work and a touring exhibition.

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