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New Technique Unfolds Centuries of Secrets in Locked Letters – The New York Times

M.I.T. researchers have devised a virtual-reality technique that lets them read old letters that were mailed not in envelopes but in the writing paper itself after…

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The old letters were protected from prying eyes when the sheets of writing paper were carefully folded to become their own secure enclosures.
The first step of their digital opening is to scan a target letter with an advanced X-ray machine. The resulting three-dimensional image much like a medical scan reveals the letters internal configuration. A computer then analyzes the image to undo the folds and, almost magically, turn the layers into a flat sheet, revealing handwritten text that can be read.

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