"I Love My Library" Exhibitions

Stop by and view exhibits in Neilson, Hillyer, Josten, and Young Libraries during the month of February in honor of "I Love My Library Day".

From a group of Valentines donated to the Mortimer Rare Book Room by Marjorie B. Menden '30.

"I Love My Library" Exhibits
Morgan Gallery
Neilson Level 1
"The Language of Love"
19th Century Valentines from the collection of Marjorie B. Menden, class of 1930
Hillyer Art Library "Art from the Heart"
Depictions of Love and Devotion in the Art Library Monograph Collection
Josten Performing Arts Library "Courtly Songs from the Heart"
Le Chansonnier Cordiforme
Young Science Library "The Chemistry of Love"

There is not much to warm the heart in a New England February, which is probably why Valentine’s Day, a day to celebrate love, friendship, and devotion, is so popular at Smith. With this in mind, the Smith College Libraries have named Thursday, February 13, 2014 “I Love My Library Day.” Please stop by and view the following exhibitions created in honor of "I Love My Library Day." Sponsored by the Friends of the Smith College Libraries.

The Language of Love

For the month of February, the Mortimer Rare Book Room staff has chosen to display some valentines. They are part of a group donated to the library in the 1960s by Marjorie B. Menden, class of 1930. Mrs. Menden collected early children’s books (hundreds of which are now at Smith), advertising trade cards (nearly a thousand are available for use here), and a more modest number of 19th-century valentines. Some are commercially printed, while others were created by the sender, whose original drawing and verse adorn the card they gave to their beloved.

Art from the Heart

Edvard MunchIn honor of this day, the Hillyer Art Library is featuring depictions of love and devotion from our book collection. This is also an opportunity for us to showcase the enormous diversity of subjects covered by our collection, and the type of discoveries one can make here. Within our stacks, you can find books about painting, sculpture, popular culture, ancient societies, architecture, design, photography, and landscape, as well as biography, history, and literature of importance to the fine arts. In this exhibit, we have chosen many different representations of love, and some interesting stories to accompany them. 

Take a look, contemplate love, and perhaps you will be moved to browse in a section of the library that you have not yet explored!

Edvard Munch expressed his negative feelings about love relationships in his painting "Vampire"

Courtly Songs from the Heart

The Chansonnier Cordiforme

Le Chansonnier de Jean Montchenu, commonly called The Chansonnier Cordiforme,is shaped like a heart. When opened,  it becomes two joined hearts, representing two lovers who send love messages to one another. The music, compiled in the early 1470s, consists of 43 French and Italian songs (representing  the most popular songs of the time) written by Dufay, Ockeghem, Busnois and their contemporaries. The pages are detailed with illuminated miniatures, gold-flecked initials, and fantastical flora and fauna.The book gets its name from the French cleric who commissioned the work.  The manuscript was presented by the Rothschild family to the Bibliothèque nationale de France. This beautiful facsimile reproduction was issued in 2008 by Vicent Garcia Editores (Valencia, Spain). The Smith copy is number 114 of 1380. 

The Chemistry of Love

In honor of Valentine's Day, Young Science Library will be featuring an exhibit in which all of the stages of love and the corresponding neurochemicals scientifically linked to them, will be displayed. If you would like to know how oxytocin or serotonin affects how you act when you're in love, stop on by! Curated by Fulani Oghoghome '15.


Mary Irwin
Friends of the Smith College Libraries
(413) 585-2903