5th Annual Valentine Broadside Printing Event

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Celebrate Letterpress, Valentines, & the 100th Anniversary of archy & mehitabel

The Book Arts & Special Collections Center presents the 5th Annual Valentine Broadside Printing Event on Saturday, February 6th, 2-4 p.m., in the San Francisco History Center, on the 6th Floor of the Main Library. You are invited to experience letterpress printing on the library’s 1909 Albion handpress and take home a unique keepsake for your sweetheart.

We’ll be printing an image which celebrates both Valentine’s Day and the 100th anniversary of archy and mehitabel’s first appearance in Don MarquisSun Dial column in the New York Evening Sun. If you are wondering just who or what archy and mehitabel are, let us explain. For the uninitiated, and those recently born: archy is a poetry-writing cockroach and mehitabel is Cleopatra, reborn as a cat. They were created in 1916, by the great newspaperman Don Marquis. The drawings of these characters, familiar to many, are by the brilliant cartoonist George Herriman, creator of the Krazy Kat comic strip. You’ll find over sixty volumes of Marquis’s writings, as well as books of Herriman’s comic art, in the library’s Schmulowitz Collection of Wit and Humor (SCOWAH) which was founded in 1947.

Join us as we celebrate archy and mehitabel’s anniversary, sixty-nine years of the Schmulowitz Collection, and, of course, Valentine’s Day. Our co-sponsors, the American Printing History Association’s NorCal Chapter will assist.

Here's a peek at last year's event.

Everyone is welcome but broadsides will be limited to the first 100 people.

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