Brought to you by Hopkins at Home
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February 10, 2021 - February 24, 2021 (3 sessions)
Wednesdays, 12 - 1pm
May your heart be your guide as Sheridan Libraries staff showcase their favorite love-themed collections and teach you how to recreate historic letter-writing techniques. In this three- part mini-course, you will sample some vintage love songs from the Lester Levy Collection of Popular American Sheet Music, learn about the history of Valentine’s Day cards, and have the chance to create your very own “locking letters” as a Valentine’s Day treat.
The valentine card as we know it today was popularized in the 1840s, giving the besotted and lovelorn alike a chance to find their perfect match in Cupid’s mailbag. Librarian Heidi Herr will talk about the history of some of her favorite valentines in Special Collections, including 19th century hand-cut tokens of love, vinegar (or “poison”) valentines, and the secret correspondence of a 1930s sailor and his favorite gal!
Locking Letters: an introduction and demonstration of historic techniques for securing information. The term “letterlocking” refers to the process by which letters, in this case on paper, were folded and secured in order to prevent the information contained within falling into unintended hands. In use from the late Middle Ages, these techniques were commonplace among the nobility and those working for them, as well as the general public. Conservator Jennifer Jarvis will briefly discuss the history of these documents before demonstrating how to make your own locked letters, which make perfect secret Valentines!
The Levy Sheet Music Collection is the product of decades of love. Between the purchase of a dozen songs for fifty cents each, to the dramatic purchase of a first edition of the Star Spangled Banner, Lester Levy dedicated his life to his collection and his love of history. In this lecture, Assistant Curator Sam Bessen will explore the love of collecting through Levy’s writings and correspondence, and share some love songs from the collection.