Massachusetts Historical Society

Season 2, Episode 6: Stories Told in Wax

In this episode, Danny Bottino, a Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers University, explains the importance of studying wax seals, objects that accompany but are often overlooked when historians focus on the text of historical documents. As key components of deeds, letters, and other types of papers, wax seals tell important stories that we are just beginning to understand. Dr. Sara Georgini, the Series Editor of The Papers of John Adams, also shows us one of the most remarkable documents in the entire MHS collection.

Episode transcript

Click the images above to view the photos and to learn more.

Learn more about wax seals by reading Danny's blog posts on The Beehive:

Secrets of the Seals

More Secrets of the Seals

Episode Special Guests:

Daniel Bottino is a doctoral candidate in early American and early modern European history at Rutgers University. His dissertation analyzes the interaction of oral and literate culture in the creation of landscapes of colonization in seventeenth-century Maine.

Dr. Sara Georgini is the series editor for The Papers of John Adams, part of the Adams Papers editorial project based at the Massachusetts Historical Society. She is the author of Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family and Our Library in Paris, coming soon from Oxford University Press.

This episode uses materials from:

Retrograde by Podington Bear (Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported)
Psychic by Dominic Giam of Ketsa Music (licensed under a commercial non-exclusive license by the Massachusetts Historical Society through Ketsa.uk)
Curious Nature by Dominic Giam of Ketsa Music (licensed under a commercial non-exclusive license by the Massachusetts Historical Society through Ketsa.uk)

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