Models in Motion: Archival books & documents in action


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Models in Motion: Archival books & documents in action


Moving Models: Archival storage & filing systems in action

A growing collections of models (simulacra) in motion showing how documents and bindings once functioned, many examples show 16th- and 17th-century legal and accounting archival bindings and documents. The models of historic originals are based on direct study with the archival record groups found in the the Vatican secret Archives (Fondo Veneto, Sezione II) or other archives from around the world. Many artifacts feature in this collection have document security built into their physical structure.

2000-. Simulacra: Archive as Artifact Function and Format Series:

Filza-simple filing system. 1660. Italian.

Filza Simple. Vicenza. 1665-1668. A simulacrum of Vatican Secret Archives, Fondo Veneto, Sezione II container #902. Santa Maria delle Grazie, A simple filza was used for filing kitchen receipts--(also referred to as Spesa). Veneto. A needle and thread pierced through the center of several small sheets of paper to make the simple filza. This movie shows how a filza may have functioned. Condition of original manuscripts: Good, not repaired.

2000. Filza. Filing system with tie and lace point 1660s Italian.

Filza. Simulacrum of Vatican Secret Archive, Fondo Veneto, Sezione II, container 725. Monastery: Santa Maria delle Grazie. Order: San Girolamo di Fiesole. Brescia. 1660-1666. (See also Fondo Veneto, Sezione II, container 724). The filza is made with cartone paper boards with "z" twist cord and metal alloy lace point. There are blind embossed decorative lines on the front cover. The 61 letters stored in the filza are handwritten documents describing "compra" (acquisitions). Many letters have notarial devices on the documents. There are 25 different hand drawn notarial devices called signum tabellionus in this record. Medieval metalwork and carpentry scholar John Vernier introduced me to the lace point, and its use as a way to fasten textiles together before the button was invented. John also taught me how to make a lace point out of brass. This still images below are of filza record Fondo Veneto, Sezione II container 818.

 

2000. Document in a textile envelope.

Letterlocking: Document in a Textile envelope Italy. 1578. Was this once a locked document? Did the textile bag serve as an envelope and was itonce sewn shut?

The original is found in the Vatican Secret Archives, Fondo Veneto, Sezione II, Container 876, Religious Order: Gesuati. Monastery: San Girolamo in Vicenza.

Original dimensions, textile envelope: 203mm x 90 mm.
Original dimensions, letter, opened: 311mm x 212mm.

 

HIstoric Materials & Techniques


HIstoric Materials & Techniques


Historic Materials: Fabrication Techniques

August 2015. Secret Writing Techniques Instructional Videos

A growing collection of secret writing techniques, such as invisible inks, used by 17th-century female spies. A collaboration between Dr. Nadine Akkerman, Leiden University, Jana Dambrogio, Thomas F. Peterson (1957) Conservator, @MITLibraries. #SecretWritingTechniques. Follow us on Twitter: @letterlocking @misswalsingham

June 2015. Historic sealing wax making with Brien Beidler, Part I.

Check out Brien's blog post on sealing wax. Check out our tweets @letterlocking

APRIL 2015. Cambridge Science Festival. MIT Libraries. Movable Messages in Books: Spinning Wheels, Coded Disks, and Volvelles. Click on the image below to link to videos of the historic wheels in action.

MIT Libraries: Movable Messages in Books: Spinning Wheels, Coded Disks, and Volvelles Wheels don’t just spin on bikes, buses, and BMW’s. Sometimes they are rings that rotate in the pages of old books, that spin and revolve and whirl, swivel and turn to reveal movable messages: decoders, moon movements, or…. Come by the MIT Libraries Institute Archives and Special Collections reading room to learn about the secrets of movable messages.

Photo credit: MIT Libraries, Institute Archives and Special Collections.

Photo credit: MIT Libraries, Institute Archives and Special Collections.

Paper Engineering Page Turns for Music Scores with Erin Gee


MARCH 2014. Paper Engineering Page Turns for Music Scores with Erin Gee.

Paper Engineering Page Turns for Music Scores with Erin Gee


MARCH 2014. Paper Engineering Page Turns for Music Scores with Erin Gee.

Paper Engineering Page Turns for Music Scores with Erin Gee.

Jana Dambrogio (FAAR '08) and Erin Gee (FAAR '08) demonstrate their solution for creating quiet and easy page turns for music sheets. The pair met and came up with this solution while fellows at the American Academy in Rome. The presentation and demonstration of their innovation took place in MIT's Lewis Music Library. Recorded 3/3/2014. Many thanks to Peter Munstedt and Christie Moore for co-organizing the event. #mitlibraries.