Here is my article about digitising Victorian Valentines cards at the Museum of London. It’s in the Collecting issue of the Edgar Wind Journal. The issue editors, Ewen MacArthur and Eliza Easton, have put together the journal in a thoughtful and innovative way. Presenting the submissions on separate cards neatly demonstrates the point that they are collection of articles, which “speak with and through one another” (Editors’ introduction).
The actual physical object is beautifully designed and typeset, and editions of the journal are sold through the website. I’d recommend getting hold of a copy for your own collection.
This article reflects on the process of digitising a collection of almost 1800 Victorian Valentines cards. The Museum of London’s card collection is only a fraction of an individual’s extensive collection of greetings cards. This article argues that the work of documenting and photographing the cards revealed information about the nature of collecting. There have always been inconsistencies between professional and personal collecting activities: the museum acquired just part of the collection because the entire collection was so vast it was considered unmanageable. Collections online and digitisation work has suggested several points about the nature of the collection as context and this short article discusses some of these ideas.
digitisation, valentines, collections, collecting, museum
Here are the blogs I wrote about my work at the museum:
- Introduction to the card collection
- The making of Victorian Valentines
- Unusual Victorian Valentines
- Victorian Leap-year proposal Valentines