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