The Cartoon Database

Each cartoon in this collection is studied by a student and information about the cartoon is entered into a database. The information entered details, analyzes and catalogues the cartoon in 13 different ways:

NewspaperO'Conner Box #Metaphor
Date of publicationCity of PublicationContents
CartoonistStateTreatment of FDR
Main TopicCaptionData entered by
Primary Characteristic

In the future it is hoped to post the database that has been created for the 1933, 1937 and the war years. The database is presently available in ASCII format. This database can be searched upon request on any number of the fields listed above by students at Niskayuna High School. To have the results of such a request sent to you, or to receive the entire database, either on disk or sent via E-Mail, please send your query and/or formatted high density IBM disk and a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Paul Bachorz
Niskayuna High School
1626 Balltown Road
Niskayuna, NY 12309


What Is In This Database?

We cannot teach you how to use a database because there are many different forms of databases; however, the students at Niskayuna High (Schenectady, NY) are pleased to share their database work with you.

Examples Of Types Of Searches

By Cartoonist

If you need to find the cartoonist, the name is in the database under cartoonist. (field #4)

By Newspaper

If you need to find the newspaper, the name is in the database under newspaper. (field #1)

By Image Content

If you need to know how many cartoons had beer in the cartoon you would search for beer in the contents field. (field #13)

Multiple Searches

If you wanted to know how many cartoons featured the Blue Eagle in the state of Texas, you would sort by Texas in the state field (TX) and by Blue Eagle in the contents field. The result would show how many cartoons were published in Texas with a Blue Eagle someplace in the cartoon.

The searches are endless and limited only by creativity and the need to know.

I'm Lost And Confused!

If you need a search performed for any of the cartoons send a description of what you need to know either by snail mail or E-Mail and one of the AP classes will conduct the search for you! Presently all of the cartoons for 1933 have been indexed. By the end of school year 1995-96 we plan to catalogue and index all of 1937. 1937 was chosen since that was the year of the "Court Reform" plan of FDR.

I'm Brave And Into Databases

You will have to load all of our data into your own database. All of the information in in ASCII format. The various fields are separated by quotation marks.

When you create your database you will need to know the names of the fields and the lengths of the fields. That information follows:

1. Newspaper: length is 50 spaces.
This field lists the name of the Newspaper where the clipping service employed by Basil O'Connor found the cartoon. O'Connor was FDR's law partner and gave the cartoons to the FDR Hyde Park Library.

2. Date YYMMDD: length is 06 spaces.
This field is used to date the gif picture file which may be scanned and posted at our Web site a later date. It probably is of no use to most people. It is used to track gifs internally at Niskayuna High School

3. Date MMDDYY: length is 10 spaces.
This field contains the date the cartoon was originally published.

4. Cartoonist: length is 29 spaces.
This field contains the name of the cartoonist. You many find the term 'unknown' if we were unable to credit the work. Many of the cartoons were unsigned. Sometimes the name was illegible and we were not able to credit the artist.

5. Main Topic: length is 50 spaces.
This field gives the main topic of the cartoon. It may be beer, foreign relations, sales tax, Supreme Court Reform, etc. This is the field to search for specific concepts. Do not expect consistency. As of summer 1995 the data base is the combined work of 22 students.

6. Characters, Primary: length is 50 spaces.
Who are the primary characters in the cartoon?

7. Characters, Secondary: length is 56 spaces.
If more space was needed or characters were not primary. Sometimes this field was a continuation of field #6.

8. O'Connor Box #: length is 02 spaces.
The FDR Library at Hyde Park stores the 30,000 political cartoons plus original clippings in banker's boxes. If you study the collection, this information will help you to find the correct storage box for a particular cartoon in the O'Connor collection.

9. City of Publication: length is 29 spaces.
If you are looking for a particular city this is the best field to search.

10. State of Publication: length is 02.
US two letter Postal Service abbreviations are used here. NY is New York and TX is Texas and so on.

11. Caption: length is is 150.
The caption is listed as it appeared in the clipping. If the original was all capital letters, the caption is in capital letters in the data base. If the clipping used title case, the caption is in title case.

12. Metaphor: length is 50 spaces.
Here we identify (to the best of our ability) any metaphor/symbol used by the cartoonist. These identifications are judgment calls.

13. Contents: length is 300 spaces.
This field should be the most useful. All objects/persons in the cartoon are identified. You might search for ships, Farley, Perkins, Supreme Court, FDR, Blue Eagles, capitol, cherry tree or thousands of other objects/persons the cartoonists used.

14. Treatment of FDR: length is 01.
Another very subjective call here. We used:
1 to indicate the cartoon was negative about the administration of FDR
2 to indicate the cartoon was neutral about the administration of FDR
3 to indicate the cartoon was positive about the administration of FDR.

My class (AP United States History) and I have debated many of the cartoons. Students might see the cartoon as negative and I would debate it as positive. They would explain their point of view and I would give mine. Only the cartoonist knows for sure and many of them are unavailable for comment. The debates have been great! Much food for thought.

15. Data Entered By: length is 18.
This field is of no earthly use to anyone except the teacher. It helps me to track the data entered and identify the work of my students. The name also credits the young adult for a lot of hard work!

About mistakes:
When you find them, please don't be surprised or offended. Please give the students the chance to correct the error. We do this work for the love of learning and the pursuit of excellence. Besides, it is a lot of fun and the works brings history to life in a way no textbook can do.

Suggestions for improvement:
Please send suggestions to Paul Bachorz. Many improvements have been made at the suggestion of our WEB page visitors. The work we do reflects on the work of many artists, the memory of FDR, and the Roosevelt library. We take our work seriously and strive to produce quality work. We are proud of the work.
Please help us grow.

If you have any FDR cartoons you would like entered please send us a Xerox copy of the work. If you have a special remembrance of FDR, please send it along so we may post it for others. If you have any gifs/pictures of the time period, all the better.

Lessons Plans:
If you are a teacher with a lesson plan of the FDR era please send that along in a text file and it will be posted. If the file is in HTM or HTML, great! If not it may take a couple of weeks for the students to convert the lesson so it can be read by a Web browser. We owe this suggestion to Mr. Harley Max Fisher of Austin, Texas who teaches at Crockett School.
Send mail to Paul Bachorz at

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