Massive collection of rare Superman items donated to library


CLEVELAND (AP) — A comic strip writer who is a Superman super-fan has donated his collection of about 17,000 pieces for a permanent exhibit dedicated to the Man of Steel at Cleveland’s main library.

Seventy-five years’ worth of Superman memorabilia was boxed up by Arkansas native Mike Curtis and sent by truck to the Cleveland Public Library, where staff will put together an exhibit honoring the hero’s creators.

High school friends Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster came up with the iconic character in Cleveland in the 1930s and spent many hours at the public library. Curtis is in the comic book business himself as the author of a syndicated Dick Tracy strip.

Amy Dawson, manager of the library’s literature department, said every piece of memorabilia will be categorized and the library will apply for grants so they can preserve and restore the collectibles.

Curtis’ collection includes rare artifacts dating back to as early as 1939. A majority of the items are from the 1970s and beyond, all with varying values depending upon their condition and rarity.

“We would love more items to add to the collection,” Dawson said. “We will only be able to show portions of the collection at a time, and we will rotate it to keep it fresh. If there are other collectors out there who wish to loan us an item for a while, we would be happy to display it.”

The library is hoping to have an exhibit featuring a selection of Curtis’ collection ready by November to provide a small glimpse into what’s to come. The exhibit will complement the library’s sizable comic book and graphic novel section.

Curtis is expected to return to Cleveland for the exhibit’s official opening in 2017.

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