L’amour fou, l’amour folle

Sweethearts
Sweethearts postcard, circa 1915. [From the library’s collections]
Ahh love. Nothing gets us in thinking about that lovin’ feelin’ more than Valentine’s Day. Fun fact: greeting cards are the most common gift given in the United States for Valentine’s Day, and is second only to Christmas in the number of  cards sold. In 2011 alone more than 190 million (yes that’s MILLION) cards were sent in the U.S., and that number doesn’t include greetings exchanged between schoolkids. (I don’t think it includes e-greetings either.) That is a LOT of paper, glitter, hearts and red ink.

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, the library is very pleased to host a display of valentines from the private collection of local collector Aurelie Wallach. The cards, which range in origin from the turn of the 20th century to the present day, come in every size, shape, color and greeting you can imagine. It is a marvelous look into the artistry, design, consumer culture, and social tradition associated with the modern American celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.

The display will be up for the rest of January and throughout the month of February, and I do hope you’ll take a moment to pop upstairs to the entrance of the Carroll Reading Room and check out this interesting collection.

Interested in learning a bit more? Here is A Brief Introduction to the History of Valentine’s Cards from The History Channel

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