“V” IS FOR VICTORY!
This morning I had the happy privilege to open one last holiday package here in the Wolfsonian-FIU library before year’s end. Vicki Gold Levi, who some years back donated her extensive collection of U.S.-Cuba tourist trade ephemera to our library, has just now sent us another collection to be added to our holdings. Earlier this year I had mentioned to Vicki—whose real name is Victory—that I would be teaching a course at Florida International University in the Spring of 2012 dealing with war propaganda films and that I would be encouraging my students to incorporate some of our museum and library artifacts into their final projects. Vicki generously volunteered to gather up and donate some of her own Second World War “Victory” materials to our library.
While we have only just begun to review, process, and accession these materials, I thought that for my last blog post of the year I would share with you a few samples from the Victory Gold Levi Collection. All of the items are small format paper products that we collectively categorize as ephemera—vintage postcards, packaging, cigar labels, paper plates, playing cards, pamphlets, and sheet music covers never really intended to be preserved. Fortunately for us, Vicki did collect and preserve such items which come to us in pristine condition.
The victory “V” figures prominently in most of the materials we pulled out of the box thus far. Most often the V is literally figured in the artwork; in other of the items the victory V might be symbolically represented, for example by planes flying in a V formation. There are even several items which incorporate the Morse Code for the letter V.
We are thrilled by Vicki’s donation of her Victory collection to our rare books and special collections library. And I know that next semester’s students—and scholars and researchers for many generations to come—will benefit greatly from her generosity.
Below is an image of a photograph (courtesy of our donor) dating from 1943. In the center stands two-year old Victory Gold dressed as a junior WAC selling war bonds.