The wings of a very eccentric Cupid are hovering over Special Collections as we prep for a special Valentine’s Day treat! Join us from 6pm-8pm on Monday, February 12th in the Special Collections Reading Room (M-level, Brody Learning Commons) for our Literary Love Letters event! View early 19th century valentine writers, a sailor’s scrapbook dedicated to all his gals in many a port (including hubba-hubba letters festooned with lipstick kisses), and some heartbreak via a letter by Lady Byron all about her separation from that poet George.

Be inspired to write your own love letter (or friendship letter or a letter of appreciation to your dog!) complete with fancy paper, calligraphy pens, and super-lovely stamps to seal your letters with wax, just like foppish rogues of yore! You can even consult our old valentine writers for pearls of Cupid’s wisdom, even if they offer less-than-sweet messages, as seen in our reproduction of a valentine called “To a Conceited Person.”

In addition to our DIY love letter station, we will also be offering our popular love tarot readings, courtesy of JHU Class of 25 undergrads Katherine Budinger and Elena Echaverria! May the cards guide you through all your love woes, from puppy love to the perils of passion leading to the primrose path.

Student in the Special Collections Reading Room receiving advice from tarot cards.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to many a bizarre love story on February 12th! And while we are at it, why not write a note in honor of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library’s 60th anniversary! Share your favorite memory about the iconic MSEL building and add it to our special Valentine’s Day time capsule to be opened February 2027