University Libraries Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections (CSWR) announces its annual Love in the Archives event on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2024. This year's theme, "Love of Nature," promises a captivating exploration of the University's rich historical archives and the connection between humanity and the natural world.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Frank Waters Room in Zimmerman Library, offering attendees the chance to immerse themselves in CSWR's extensive collection of pictorial archives and documents. The Love in the Archives exhibit will also extend to an online platform.

“Nature might not be your first thought when it comes to archives, but we found that we have quite a few items in the collection that have a nature theme to them. From conservation to the UNM campus to pieces of art, we have a wide variety of materials that we think people will be happy to learn are available,” said Portia Vescio, CSWR University Archivist.

CSWR is proud to feature "A Book of Cranes," a recent addition to its permanent collection. This collaborative masterpiece, created by 12 New Mexico poets and artists, captures the elegance of cranes in a stunning work of art.

A Book of Cranes is a large, accordion-style folding screen book measuring 24" x 32" x 5", with an extended length of 16 feet when fully opened. The book consists of 10 pages, including covers, showcasing art on both sides. These pages are connected by book-cloth hinges and bamboo posts. The book will be displayed in an open position, standing upright on a long table for viewers to walk around and appreciate the art.

A few of the artists that contributed to the Book of Cranes will be present at the event to talk more about their process and collaborating with others in this unique project. There will be a card making station, some crafts, light refreshments, and a drawing for a special prize.

“For this year's Love in the Archives we are so excited to have some of the actual creators of items in our collections participating in the event.  We are so happy to have the Book of Cranes in the CSWR and love hosting events like this where we can share some of our truly unique items with the public,” said Vescio.

Love in the Archives is an annual Valentine’s Day open house showcasing decades of historical and digital memorabilia from the Center of Southwest Research and Special Collections. This year, CSWR is pleased to host an in-person event accompanied by an online exhibit accessible at goto.unm.edu/lita2024.