February is an important month for many reasons, not just because it is my birthday month (haha, just kidding). It’s African American History month, Mardi Gras month, President’s Day month, the shortest month of the year (only good if that means that winter ends faster), the month when a certain Groundhog decides he prefers freezing a little bit longer than choosing spring…you get it. It’s a good month also because it is when Valentine’s Day occurs, the great holiday that makes Chocolate even more popular than it already is, and renews the best loved stories of all time.
The Wilson Collection at the Nashville Public Library is filled with many classic love stories, including Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, several by Shakespeare including Romeo & Julie and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and several notable works of literature from Jane Austen. A few of Austen’s novels from the collection including Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, and Emma were used recently in the Teen program, Throwback Thursday with the Wilson Collection, and will be discussed more in depth below.
Throwback Thursday with the Wilson Collection is a Teen program that recurs every second Thursday of the month. This is a program that began back in September of 2014, bringing books from the Wilson Collection to the Teens, to allow them to experience history firsthand with special edition books. This program is open to all teens, and the next one will be March 12th.
The vintage valentines borrowed from archives.
As a part of the program, teens can participate in the craft that is included. Each month, the craft changes but sticks to the same theme of vintage or books (or vintage books). For example, the first craft was book making. This next month’s program will include a craft of making book marks out of recycled materials.
In addition to the three Jane Austen novels on display, teens could also view old Valentines that belonged to a Lebanon High School graduate in 1944. These valentines were borrowed from Archives, at the Main Downtown Library. Unique for both their material and content, the teens that participated enjoyed looking at them.
Using the inspiration of Vintage Valentines, the craft this month was making Valentines the old-fashioned way. The Teens loved it and made more than one per person even. The craft was very simple too, for anyone else interested in making these in the future.
The craft for February’s Throwback Thursday was creating vintage valentines.
Here are the easy instructions to making Vintage Valentines:
1. Use construction paper, cardstock paper, or just regular paper for your base.
2. From a heart template of any size preferred, you can cut the shape of a heart from a template (I printed a heart shape out and traced it onto a recycled cereal box).
3. Out of recycled paper such as tissue paper, paper from old books, or doilies, cut the shape of another smaller heart and glue it onto the base paper.
4. From here, you can decorate the Valentine with any other decorations such as stickers, buttons, or old Valentines printed from the internet. There are a lot of good, older Valentines out there that provide an insight into the humor of the past. See the pictures below for a few examples.
The Teens enjoyed writing their own messages, but there are stickers and crafts out there that provide example material. If you’re looking for an easy craft in the future for your teens, kids, or adult friends, this is a cheap and personal way to show your love and friendship without breaking the bank on Chocolate or Flowers (though I’d agree that chocolate tastes better than a Valentine card).
While we’re still discussing love, I’ll add the books that were brought to this month’s Throwback Thursday. All three are books by classic English novelist, Jane Austen. She was popular during her time, and remains still. She created some of the best-told classic love stories of all time, and many of them (including the books listed below) have been remade as movies.
Some of the crafts made during the Throwback Thursday with the Wilson Collection program.
1. Pride & Prejudice – published by the LEC in 1940. Illustrations by Helen Sewell.
2. Sense & Sensibility – published by the LEC in 1957. Illustrations by Helen Sewell.
3. Emma – published by the LEC in 1964. Illustrations by Fritz Kredel.
The Throwback Thursday with the Wilson Collection program recurs every second Thursday, as already mentioned, in the Teen area. It is a program for Teens, but viewing the books is not. The Wilson Collection in the East Reading Room is open to anyone to view during Library hours. It is located on the 3rd floor of the Main Downtown Library (next to the Fine Arts area).
If you are interested in viewing more books individually, you can make an appointment by calling either (615) 880-2356 or (615) 880-2363, or simply respond to this blog post.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more next month!