Collection robi.val - Robert G. Robinson Antique Valentines Collection

Identity area

Reference code

US IlHpHS robi.val


Robert G. Robinson Antique Valentines Collection


  • 1904 - 1918 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 Cubic foot : 3 boxes

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Robert George Robinson, who was originally named Sigmund Robinson, is a native Chicagoan. He was born on June 12, 1901 and thereafter was raised as an orphan, living at a variety of different orphanages. In 1916, Robert graduated from Lake Bluff Grammar School, and the following year (1917) at the age of 16, he moved to Highland Park with a job as an errand boy for department stores. A local Highland Park family took Robert in, and he graduated from Deerfield-Shields Township High School in 1923 at the age of 22.

In high school, Robert developed a skill and passion for poetry, which continued into his adult years. These skills also allowed Robert to attend the University of Illinois, where he graduated in 1927 with a major in journalism. After graduation, Robert returned to Highland Park and began working an apprenticeship under Leon Harris at the Yorktown Shop and later at the Red Shutters. Here he developed his interior decorating skills and developed his love and passion for antiques. 25 years later in 1968, Robert opened his own store, Robert G. Robinson and Associates, dealers in antiques and interior decorating.

Robert would often talk with local groups about antiques and interior decorating. His knowledge was highly respected and nationally recognized as an antique expert. Some of his collections and remakes have even been on display at the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) in New York. Through his love of the past and the objects it held, Robert felt that Highland Park needed its own museum to house its own specific treasures. With this idea, he became one of the founding members of the Highland Park Historical Society in 1966. He was also a President and Curator.

Robert began collecting the first day of his apprenticeship. He would buy pieces he liked, thought were interesting, and felt would have value. One of his prized collections is the valentine collection. He began the collection because the valentines were unique items that had value to them. They were also a testament to their time, a way of life, and allowed Robert to reflect on a period that he preferred to the present. Robert was not a fan of modern styles and thought processes, so he put a lot of value into his prized valentine collection and would often put them on display at the local flower shop during February. Only one other Highland Park native collected and placed value on old valentines, Mrs. Lawrence McClure. Mrs. McClure and Robert often discussed their collections, shared their joys, and kept a friendly competition while hunting for additions.

Archival history

Robert G. Robinson re-founded the Highland Park Historical Society served as its curator. He donated his personal vintage valentine collection organization's collections. Robinson may have obtained valentines from schools and teachers.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Robinson, Robert G.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection is comprised of valentines ranging designed and printed 1904 to 1918. Many of them have names written on them, and seem to have been given from students to teachers. Height, size, and style varies. Many of them have moveable parts, lace, macramé, and tissue paper. They are very delicate objects and fall apart easily. The valentines are styled as flat calling cards, double folio cards (some standing with a leg and some just open), while the majority of the collection are pop-ups, both with moveable and non-movable parts. A single valentine is in German, but the rest of the collection is in English.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

All series is arranged in the order in which it was received. Minor preservation rearrangements were undertaken so that valentines would not be crushed.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access


Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion


  • English
  • German



Archivist's note

Processed by Konstandina D Argyropoulos, 2012.

Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Box: 1-3