The COVID-19 pandemic has changed every aspect of life. Many people have made sacrifices and experienced loss, but it is in these times that people are inspired to rise up with the greatest acts of kindness and love. This year the University Libraries Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections (CSWR) have produced a virtual exhibit for the 2021 Love in the Archives event with the theme of the “things we do for love.”

When talking about this year’s exhibit, UNM Archivist Portia Vescio said, “We discussed various themes, but kept coming back to the sacrifices that people have made over the years in the name of love.  After an unprecedented year like 2020, we felt that was the right theme to explore this year.”

The exhibit features stories such as The Mutualistas, a Southwest Hispanic American mutual protection aid society established to combat racial discrimination, protect their lands, work for social and economic rights, celebrate their culture and provide basic social insurance programs such as sickness and job subsidies, unemployment and burial aid. Visitors can also listen to the many recordings of songs and performances in the CSWR archives, such as the recording of Albuquerque Laotian community song, sung during a program honoring the Virgin Mary in 1981.

The digital exhibit includes images, audio recordings, diary entries, digitized scrapbooks and other archival materials at CSWR. There is also a selection of UNM Press books chosen by CSWR staff related to the themes of love and things we do for love.  In addition, visitors are able to send a digital Valentine’s Day e-card from the exhibit to their friends and family.

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. Due to the pandemic and adhering to social distancing policies in place, CSWR created a virtual exhibit to display various archival materials for the 2021 event.

For more information, contact Portia Vescio.