The Goliard Society of Medievalists is a unique group at Augsburg, and not simply because of its passion for all things Medieval. This year, the group purchased and donated 27 wax replicas of Medieval seals to the Lindell Library.
The group first thought of donating money they raised last year after learning that unspent student organization funds disappear from one year to the next. Instead of losing the money or spending it frivolously, they decided to make a donation to the college.
The goliards talked to members of the library staff about making a donation to a restricted fund that could be used to buy items that would “get people interested in medieval stuff” Adamo said.
“Like other clubs, we’re interested in having fun, but we’re also interested in giving back to the college,” said Phil Adamo, medieval studies professor and the goliards’ adviser.
The seals offer a unique way to learn about history. “We felt the seals would be something anyone can use, and they provide learning opportunities that most students do not have the chance of experiencing at an undergraduate level,” said goliard Bryony Anderson. Laura Cannata, also a goliard, added, “The seals will last longer and benefit more people than, say, a party would.”
Half of the seals are on display on the second floor of the library and the other half were used by a history class as a research project.
“The seals bring an air of mystery as well as reality to the study of history,” said Jane Ann Nelson, director of library services.” We appreciate the role that the goliards played in purchasing and donating the seals to the library.”
Historically, wax seals were used to close letters, as a signature, and as a stamp of authorization. The replicas in the collection donated to Augsburg range from William the Conqueror’s seal from the year 1066 to a seal dating to 1534 that belonged to King Henry VIII.
Article by Kari Aanestad