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"Do It the Hard Way: Rube Goldberg and Modern Times" Exhibition, 1970. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Acc. 11-008, Image no. OPA-1685.

Archives & Collections

Journalists, humorists, and academic researchers have interviewed, lauded, and analyzed Rube’s work since the 1920s.

The Institute actively collects key materials and resources to aid ongoing research of Rube’s work and cultural influence.

Learn About Rube

Rube Goldberg has and continues to be an endless source of inspiration. Many articles and essays have been written about his legacy as an inventor, artist, and cultural figure. Explore our library of historical film, interviews and essays on Rube.

Photograph of young Rube Goldberg at his desk

The Family Collection

Rube gifted a large portion of his archive to his alma mater, but he kept a sizable personal collection of original works for himself. Today this constitutes the family collection, works that span his career along with ephemera, awards, and tools of the trade, including his well-worn drawing table. A portion of this collection became the touring exhibit, "The Art of Rube Goldberg" and from 2017 to 2020 appeared in museums coast to coast. This work is now being re-curated by the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh as "Rube Goldberg, Illustrated". For information about the show, contact us.

Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley

In 1964, Rube gave a collection of 10,000 pieces of original art, articles, writings, letters, and memorabilia to his alma mater, the University of California. The collection is housed at the Bancroft Library in Berkeley, CA. The collection includes: correspondence; original drawings for comic strips and for editorial cartoons covering national political campaigns, World War II, and postwar international and domestic affairs; clippings; scrapbooks; manuscripts of articles, stories and songs; books written by him; photographs; records; film; artifacts, including a junior plug hat from the University of California, Class of 1904.

Rube Goldberg Latest War Machine cartoon

Williams College Museum of Art Collection

Rube's son, Broadway and film producer George W. George, donated an important collection of his father’s original sketches to the Williams College Museum of Art. George was an alumnus of Williams College, class of 1941.

Rube Goldberg sketch of cartoon: Administering Smelling Salts

Smithsonian Institution Collection

In 1970, the Smithsonian held a major retrospective exhibit on Rube Goldberg. It was directed by Daniel Boorstin (his first exhibit as the Institution's director) and curated by Peter Marzio (who published a biography of Rube Goldberg in 1973). The Smithsonian collection includes photographs of the exhibit as well as images of the cartoons and other artifacts.

Butler Library, Columbia University

The entire submission packet to the Pulitzer Prize Committee, including his winning illustration of “Peace Today,” is part of the archives at Columbia University.

Pulitzer Prizes collection, 1917-2017, Box 2 Folder 18

Political cartoon of an atomic bomb with a house sitting on top of it, precariously hanging over a cliff labeled 'world control' with a dropoff chasm labeled 'world destruction.'