Valentine's Day is drawing near--have you gotten your valentine a card yet? If not, maybe you can draw some inspiration from these gems from the Victorian period! The Victorian Valentine Collection was donated to the St. Catherine University Archives and Special Collections by Helen Schoenheider in 1988. Schoenheider attended St. Kate's from 1924 to 1925. These early cards of love date all the way back to 1840! The collection has over 100 valentines dating all the way back to 1840! Some are even just for friends.
The collection contains the work of numerous artists such as Louis Prang (1824-1909), who was a German immigrant that settled in Boston in 1850. He was known as the "father of the American Christmas card" after he introduced Christmas cards to the American market in 1875.
Other notable artists and companies within the collection include Raphael Tuck & Co., McLaughton, Esther Howland, and George C. Whitney Manufacturing Company. Pictured below is a German mechanical card. They were called mechanical because of the unique way they popped out to the viewer. This particular card was made somewhere between 1890 and 1910, when they were extremely popular.
To see more Victorian valentines, visit the February display in the St. Kate's library, which can be found just behind and to the left of the circulation desk.
For more information on the history of St. Catherine University, visit the Archives and Special Collections online or in person in Room 062 in the lower level of the Library; open Monday-Friday from 9:30-4:30