What is the language of love? Is there just one, or can there be many? People have expressed love in many ways throughout history – in words, song, dance, actions, pictures, politics, food and even architecture.

The University Libraries Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections (CSWR) is exploring the many languages of love at its annual Valentine’s Day event, Love in the Archives. The archivists at the CSWR have chosen materials showcasing the many languages of love and will display paintings of dancers, architectural plans, Mexican cookbooks and romantic poetry among other items.

But archives are more than just paper. There will also be links to digital materials you can view on your mobile devices and you can join the exhibit by snapping a selfie or uploading your Valentine creation and see it pop into the live social media feed.

Create your own Valentine, pick up a 3-D printed heart, take a Valentine selfie with your love at the selfie station and talk to the curators and archivists. Light refreshments will be served.

Love in the Archives is on Friday Feb. 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The open house will be in the Frank Waters Room of Zimmerman Library. Here is a peek at what to expect:

Pictorial Archivist Cindy Abel Morris finds that each couple has their own language of love. 

“The way couples relate to each other physically in photos tells a lot about their relationship,” she said. “Each couple’s relationship is unique and when you study the details of their photographs, you can see what makes them special.”

Conservation Technician Jennifer Eggleston found much to love while working on materials belonging to Flamenco dancer Maria Benitez.

“The items themselves are visually stunning,” she said. “But when I think about how much work and dedication goes into becoming a dancer on her level, I realize you cannot do that without a love for the art form.” 

For more information contact:  Portia Vescio, pvescio@unm.edu