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2021: In the media


The Spiral-Locked Letters of Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots



Makinde Ogunnaike and Josh Sariñana on The Poetry of Science 
Boston Public Radio
Physics PhD candidate Ogunnaike and photographer and writer Sariñana PhD ‘11 talk about the exhibit The Poetry of Science, on view in Rotch Library.



Tarot cards are having a moment with help from pandemic
Washington Post
A new generation is embracing the 78-card decks thanks to postings from influencers on visual platforms like Instagram and TikTok and unboxing videos on sites like Twitch and YouTube.



Featured video: A musical encore for a re-imagined libraryVideo still of a woman in a face mask playing violin with a man in the background playing piano
MIT News
Graduate students perform Martinů’s “Piano Trio in D Minor,” originally commissioned for Hayden Library’s 1950 dedication.



MIT Libraries digitizes materials from Mary RoweMary Rowe in 1973
MIT News
Papers from MIT’s former ombudsperson provide an important resource on the beginning of the organizational ombuds profession.



Library Oasis
MIT Spectrum
Hayden Library and the adjoining Building 14 courtyard that welcomed back the MIT community this summer are designed to invite serendipitous connections.



Unfolding history
MIT Technology Review
Before envelopes existed, cleverly folding up a letter was a crucial privacy tactic. Only now are we learning what those techniques were, and what they reveal about cultures around the world.



Renovations at MIT and Yale, Brooklyn’s First New Branch in 40 Years, and More Library Construction News
Library Journal
A re-envisioned Hayden Library and courtyard at MIT, fresh film archives at Yale, Brooklyn PL unveils its first new branch in 40 years, Columbus Metropolitan Library cuts the ribbon on its HIlltop Branch, and more library construction news.



Hayden Library reopens after renovations
The Tech
New spaces include courtyard, cafe, flexible study and community areas




Renovated Hayden Library and courtyard open to the MIT community
MIT News
Transformational projects bring inclusive, welcoming spaces to the MIT campus.




MIT Libraries staff honored with 2021 Infinite Mile Awards
MIT News
Staff were recognized for keeping spirits up and services running despite a difficult year.


JUNE 2021

Online hub for research and teaching brings digital humanities to the fore
MIT News
Virtual collaboration sessions connect faculty and researchers to new tools, resources, and each other.



The clever folds that kept letters secret
Hundreds of years ago, people developed ingenious methods to secure their letters from prying eyes – and they did it with only paper, adhesive and folds.


MAY 2021

Deter Prying Eyes by Locking Your Own Lettersillustration of hands folding letters
Atlas Obscura
A how-to for those who want to use folds, tucks, slits, and more to turn letters into little works of art.



Scene at MIT: Setting up camp under the DomeA library staffer works in a blackout tent under MIT's Great Dome
MIT News
Despite construction and a pandemic, MIT Distinctive Collections staff continue their work.



Cracking the Code of Letterlocking
Atlas Obscura
A tale of Black Chambers, lost correspondence, and high technology.



APRIL 2021

Talking Outside the Tower
MIT News
EECS Communication Lab teams up with MIT Libraries to broadcast free “Science Snippets” to the world.



3 Questions: Defining the Institute’s values
MIT News
Daniel Hastings and Tracy Gabridge share their experiences as co-chairs of MIT’s Values Statement Committee.



Algorithm Virtually Unfolds a Historical Letter without Unsealing It
Scientific American
In the centuries before envelopes, “letterlocking” secured a message’s information



MARCH 2021

Big Deal for Open Access
Inside Higher Ed
University of California system secures a landmark open-access deal with publisher Elsevier. Some university librarians hail the agreement as a breakthrough, but others worry about possible long-term impacts.


Research team led by Jana Dambrogio reads an unopened letter from early modern Europe using computational tools.