Sharing Some Archives Love

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I have a 10-year-old daughter. A couple years ago I was helping her make little Valentines to hand out at school when I had a lightbulb moment: why not hand them out at work too? We were going to be open that February 14. Everyone likes a little greeting and a piece of candy now and then, and maybe it would get some more traffic in the door. Even spending my own money for a bag of candy and some white cardstock paper (SO hard to get my hands on in my library for some reason), this project was only about $10 to do and really fun.

Probably my most favorite collection in my library is the Caterino Postcard Collection, which numbers well over 2,000 cards, all digitized and in the process of being cataloged. The collection covers several subjects, including general greetings. There are none that are overtly Valentines, but certainly have messages that could be interpreted along those lines. I dug through the 150 or so in the “Greetings” folder and picked 16 charming vintage cards that suited the theme. You can see examples in the slideshow above.

I laid out two pages in PowerPoint (there are better programs but we have this and it’s easy), each with eight shrunk-down postcard scans. Then I made a page of text boxes so that the postcard backs would include information as follows:

  • Valentine greeting from the Local History Collection
  • URL to our online collections
  • Email and phone number
  • Open hours

I printed them in color, cut them out, and spread them on the research room table next to a bowl of candy. Our marketing department mentioned it on social media along with other library Valentine announcements, and I did have a few patrons who came in that day expressly to get their card. It was, literally, sweet!

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