Letterlocking Categories

 

 

Check back soon for the ability to filter the letterlocking categories for open letters. For now, this section is a work-in-progress. Scroll down and enjoy the videos and images.

This section is divided into three main sections: no adhesive, adhesive, and not letterlocking

(examples of information-locking, document-locking, and Venetian document filing and storage systems)

and levels of built-in security: no, low, medium, high



No adhesive (no sealing wax, wafer, tape)

No built-in security

Fold

Category: Fold. Format: Rectangle-wide.

 

Category: Fold. Format: Decagon.

 

 

Category: Fold. Format: Nonagon.


Fold + tuck

Category: Fold + tuck. Format: Triangle.

 

Category: Fold + tuck. Format: Rectangle-tall Gallery.  

Category: Fold + tuck. Format: Triangle.

Category: Fold + tuck. Format: Rectangle wide.

 

Category: Fold + tuck. Format: Hexagon.


Fold + lock-O

Lock-O = a material not cut from writing substrate.

Category: Fold + lock-O (our only known historic example is in wrapper). Format: Rectangle.

 

Fold + tuck + lock-O

Examples forthcoming.

 

Fold + slit/hole + tuck

Category: Fold + slit/hole + tuck. Format: Rectangle wide.


Fold + slit/hole + lock-O

Lock-O = a material not cut from writing substrate

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-O.

Queen Marie Antoinette, 1780.

Category: Fold + slit + lock-O. Format: Rectangle wide.

Category : Fold + slit + lock-O. Format: Rectangle wide.

The Earl of Essex's letters to Elizabeth I. 


Fold + tuck + slit/hole + lock-O

Examples forthcoming.

 


Adhesive (sealing wax, starch wafer, tape)

Low built-in security

Fold + adhere

Category: Fold + adhere. Format: rectangle tall.

Category: Fold + adhere. Format: rectangle.

Category: Fold + adhere. Format: rectangle.

 
 

Fold + tuck + adhere

Category: Fold + tuck + adhere.

Barton Rogers, 1826.

Category: Fold + tuck + adhere. Format: rectangle wide.

Category: Fold + tuck + adhere. Format: rectangle wide.

 

Category: Fold + tuck + adhere. Format: Rectangle wide.

Category: Fold + tuck + adhere. Format: rectangle wide.

 

Category: Fold + tuck + adhere. Format: rectangle wide.

Category: Fold + tuck + adhere. Format: square diamond.

 

Category: Fold + tuck + adhere.

Category: Fold + tuck + adhere.


Fold + slit/hole + tuck + adhere


Fold + lock-SA + adhere

 

 

Category: Fold + lock-SA + adhere. Format: rectangle wide.

Category: Fold + lock-SA + adhere. Format: rectangle wide.


Fold + cut/slit flap + tuck + adhere

An example of letterlocking category 'fold + lock-SA + tuck + adhere' bound into a "gathered and tied" binding with other letters that are not letterlocked. In the background are c.150 simulacra (detailed models of specific bindings and letters) found in the Vatican Secret Archives, modelled after the record group Fondo Veneto Sezione II.

Category: Fold + tuck + lock-SA + adhere. Format: rectangle wide.


Fold + lock-O + adhere

Lock-O = a material not cut from the writing substrate. 

Category: Fold + lock-O + adhere.

Category: Fold + lock-O + adhere.

 

Category: Fold + lock-O + adhere.

Category: Fold + lock-O + adhere.

 

Category: Fold + lock-O + adhere.

Category: Fold + lock-O + adhere.

 

Fold + slit/hole + lock-O + adhere

Lock-O = a material not cut from the writing substrate. 

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-O + adhesive.

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-O + adhesive. Format: rectangle wide.

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-O + adhesive. Format: rectangle-wide.

 

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-O + adhesive.

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-O + adhesive.

 

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-O + adhesive.

 

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-O + adhesive.

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-O + adhesive.

 

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-O + adhesive.

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-O + adhesive.

 

Fold + tuck + slit/hole + lock-O + adhere

Lock-O = a material not cut from the writing substrate

Category: Fold + tuck+ slit/hole + lock-O + adhere.



Adhesive (sealing wax, starch wafer, tape) 

High built-in security

Lock-SU

A lock-SU or lock-SA is cut off from or slit out of the actual epistolary writing substrate and used to secure it shut.

Fold + slit/hole + lock-SU + adhere

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-SU + adhere.

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-SU + adhere.

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-SU + adhere.

 

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-SU + adhere.


Fold + tuck + slit/hole + lock-SU + adhere

Category: Fold + tuck + slit/hole + lock-SU + adhere.


No adhesive

High built-in security

Lock-SA  

A lock-SA is slit out of the epistolary writing substrate and remains attached while it secures the packet shut.

Fold + slit/hole + lock-SA

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-SA.


Adhesive

High built-in security

Lock-SA

Fold + slit/hole + lock-SA + adhere

  

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-SA + adhere.

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-SA + adhere.

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-SA + adhere.

 

Fold + slit/hole + lock-O + lock-SA + adhere

Category: Fold + slit/hole + lock-O + lock-SA + adhere.

 



Document Security Gallery (not letters)

Varying degrees of built-in security found in documents

Document Security: Elizabeth I's instructions for the arrest of Mary Queen of Scots, 1584. 

Mesopotamian Clay Bullae, 10,000 B.C.E. (inferred construction).

Document Security. Closed format: Sphere. 

Document Security: Cross-hatching in the margins.

 

Document Security: folded contract or document in a textile bag

Document Security: Fold + textile envelope. Closed format: Rectangle. 

Document Security: Two-part locked document later sewn into a fascicle.

 

Letterlocking, document security, An example of letterlocking category 'fold + cut/slit flap + tuck + adhere' variation is bound into a "gathered and tied" binding with other letters that are not letterlocked, but rather have document security features built into them. Check out the corner folding traditions that continue into the 21st century. In the background are ca. 150 simulacra (detailed models of specific bindings and letters) found in the Vatican Secret Archives. They are modelled after the (record group) Fondo Veneto Sezione II, where letterlocking was discovered in 2000.

 

Document Security: Filza (simple).

Document Security: Filza.