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Tijuana Bibles collection, 1930s-1998 3 Linear Feet — 500 items

Tijuana Bibles, also known as eight-pagers or dirty little books, were small eight-page publications of cartoon erotica and pornography that became popular during the 1930s and 1940s. This collection includes about 400 Tijuana Bibles, some of them duplicates; a few folders of erotica drawings and drafts by an unknown artist; and printed material about Tijuana Bibles, published from the 1970s through the 1990s.

The Tijuana Bibles Collection consists of about 400 Tijuana bibles, some printed material about the bibles and the phenomenon as a whole, and an anonymous author's sketches and drawings of characters and plots.

The Tijuana bibles include a wide range of characters, many inspired by (or lifted from) mainstream media and celebrities. The most frequently used characters were from newspaper comic strips, including Andy Gump, Betty Boop, Blondie and Dagwood, Dick Tracy, Ella Cinders, Dumb Dora, Wimpy, Pete the Tramp, Tillie the Toiler, and Popeye. Other bibles include generic figures such as travelling salesmen (including a vacuum cleaner man, a book salesman, a radio salesmen, and so on); parodies of real people, including Nazis, boxer Joe Louis, and other celebrities; or versions of popular movie heroines, such as Snow White or Mae West.

The collection held in Rubenstein Library consists largely of Tijuana bibles, but also include other small pornographic cartoon or comic joke books, similar in design and in manufacturing quality, but not entirely true to the "traditional" form of a Tijuana bible. There are also Tijuana bible reproductions in this series.

The manuscript materials accompanying the bibles consist of drafts and sketches for two strips, one featuring Wahoo and the other featuring Li'l Abner and Daisy Mae. Also included is a draft of "Fritzi Ritz in 'Kisses for Sale'." This series also includes pornographic drawings of generic female characters, some with and some without text. These do not appear to be taken from any particular Tijuana bible. All of the manuscript material is anonymous and undated.

Finally, the collection also includes a series of books about Tijuana bibles, compiled by the collector, including reprints of some of the bibles as well as essays or historical introductions to the genre. These books were published between 1971 and 1998.