5 November 2015. Lauched: #SignedSealedUndelivered. A 17th-century postal trunk filled with 2,600 locked letters including 600 unopened missives sealed with wax.

Click on the image to learn more

Click Here for the Press Release and here for the MIT Press Release

29 October 2015. What's new under the sun, Vermont Library Association. VLA College & Special Libraries Section Conference, Conference paper S is for Special: Adventures with the Ship of Theseus

Jana Dambrogio, Conservator, Lorrie McAllister, Digital and Special Collections Strategist, Mark Szarko, Literature, Global Studies and Languages, and Theater Arts Librarian, and Ann Marie Willer, Preservation Librarian, MIT Libraries

Conceived by J.J. Abrams and written by Doug Dorst, the novel S. defies easy categorization. Composed of several interlocking stories, it includes a novel entitled The Ship of Theseus by V.M. Straka that is filled with loose postcards, letters, restaurant napkins, and other ephemera as well as marginalia by two characters trying to solve the mystery of the text and the many objects it contains. Staff at the MIT Libraries decided to conduct an experiment to see how a text like this would hold up over time and how the experience of future readers might be affected. The presentation will examine acquisition, shelving, and preservation decisions, and the data collected from 18 months of circulation.

30 September 2015. Ideas.Ted.com, "20 Words that Aren't in the Dictionary Yet". Article by Erin McKean.

Click on the image to read the article.

18 September 2015. New York Times, Weekend Arts II, Antiques section. "A Trove of 'Letterlocking,' or Vintage Strategies to Deter Snoops." Article by: Eve M. Kahn

Click on the image to read the article.

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

20 JUNE 2015. Workshop. Letterlocking: Historical Practices of Securing

Information.Sponsored by the Guild of BookWorkers Delaware Valley Chapter Workshop. Click the image below for more details about the Guild.

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

16 MAY 2015. AIC's Annual Meeting » 43rd Annual Meeting – Book and Paper Session, “Unlocking the Secrets of Letterlocking to Reseal the Letters of John Donne and Other Early Modern Letter Writers”.

Jana Dambrogio, Dr. Daniel Starza Smith, and Dr. Heather Wolfe. View blog post and tweets.

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.

APRIL 2015. Letterlocking: Keeping Posts from Prying Eyes. Blog post featured on The Conveyor: Research in Special Collections at the Bodleian Libraries.

Written by: Emily Mayne (St Hilda’s College) and Callum Seddon (Merton College).

2015 Donne Locking Tour. Letterlocking Video Demonstration: The John Donne Lock.

Follow us on twitter: @letterlocking #JohnDonneLetterlock

© Jana Dambrogio and Daniel Starza Smith.

FEBRUARY-MARCH 2015. Lecture: Unlocking the Secrets of John Donne Letters. Jana Dambrogio (MIT Libraries) and Dr. Daniel Starza Smith (Lincoln College, University of Oxford)

Photo credit: Yaakov Mascetti, 2015.

FEBRUARY-MARCH 2015. Donne Locking USA-UK Tour. Lecture and hands-on workshop presented by: Jana Dambrogio (MIT Libraries) and Dr. Daniel Starza Smith (Lincoln College, University of Oxford) Follow us on twitter: @letterlocking

Image credit: J. Dambrogio. 2015.

Image credit: J. Dambrogio. 2015.

20 February 2015. Renaissance Workshop. University of Chicago.

23 February 2015. Houghton Library, Harvard University.

24 February 2015. MIT Libraries. Watch the Lecture + view tweets about the Workshop.

26-28 February 2015. The John Donne Society. 30th Annual Conference.

6 March 2015. Symposium: Clandestine Communications in Early Modern England. with Dr Nadine Akkerman. Symposium organized by Lokke Fikkers, Queen Mary, University of London. School of English and Drama.

9 March 2015. University College London.

10 March 2015. University of Oxford. Weston Library. Bodleian Libraries. View blog post.

12 March 2015. University of Glasgow. School of Critical Studies.


November 2014. Holy Family Grade school, Poland, Ohio. Co-teaching letterlocking with a nine-year-old expert letterlocker.

OCTOBER 2014. Courtly Rivals. Instructional letterlocking and information security videos.

A collaboration with Academic Media Production Services, Dr. Nadine Akkerman the Hague Historic Museum, and MIT Libraries Curation & Preservation Services. Click on the picture to watch all six videos.


OCTOBER 2014. Guild of BookWorkers. Standards of Excellence Seminar.

JULY 2014. What is a letter? An interdisciplinary approach.

Co-present lecture and workshop with Dr. Daniel Starza Smith: Using historic letterlocking to reseal the letters of John Donne: a collaborative approach to letters. Check out the rest of the program and the blog.


JUNE 2014. Let's Make a Model! 

Featured on the Folger Shakespeare Library's blog The Collation. This piece was co-written with the Folger's curator of manuscripts Dr. Heather Wolfe about letterlocking found on Early Modern English Manuscripts.

JUNE 2014. Letters as movable objects: Letterlocking YouTube channel & MITs TechTV.

Triangle-Shaped Paper Lock with slit parallel to the fore-edge. Just one of many letterlocking instructional videos.

MAY 2014. Historic Letterlocking: Lecture at University of Toronto's Fischer Library + Workshop at the Canadian Bookbinders Book Artist Guild.

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2004 . Guild of BookWorkers 100th Anniversary- Contemporary Exhibition of Juried Works