A Branch Herald's Toolbox

A Herald's Toolbox

by Mistress Jaelle of Armida, Lady Alanna of Volchevo Lesa, and Master Gawain of Miskbridge

Permission is hereby granted to reprint this article in SCA Publications

Each working herald should have a toolbox full of the tools of his trade. Below you will find a suggested list of what belongs in the herald's toolbox. Don't worry if you don't have everything on the list, especially some of the books. We know that they can be expensive, and sometimes difficult to find. We don't expect you to necessarily own all the books, although you probably want to be able to get access to most of them. Starred items are more important than the non-starred ones.

A. Things to take with you to most SCA events, meetings, etc.

A portable file box or folder in which to carry:

1. File folders. *

2. Submission forms - working copies. *

3. Blank paper.

4. Scribble sheets (These are pages which have small shield blanks, for the submitter to try out different arrangements of the charges she or he likes.)

5. Account book - to keep track of money received and spent. *

6. Pens. *

7. Pencils. *

8. Colored Markers - Crayola makes good ones in both large and small points. (Use the classic colors, not the neon ones!)

9. Basic drawing tools: compasses, ruler, 30° and 60° triangles, etc.

10. Templates of frequently used charges.

11. The latest Laurel Letter of Acceptance and Return (If you have access to them.)

B. Things to take with you when you know you are going to be doing consulting or other heraldic duties.

A large box for books: Rubbermaid makes some nice ones that will keep things dry, but cardboard works OK with proper precautions.

1. SCA Armorial & Ordinary. *

2. Bruce Draconarius & Akagawa Yoshio - A Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry as Used in the Society for Creative Anachronism. (aka "The PicDic") *

3. Withycombe - The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names. (Presently out of print. Alas!) *

4. Reaney - A Dictionary of British Surnames.

5. Foster - The Dictionary of Heraldry, Pastoureau - Heraldry: An Introduction to a Noble Tradition, or Neubecker - Heraldry: Customs, Rules and Style.

6. Creative Anachronist pamphlet #22, Heraldry, by Arval Benicoeur and Marten Broeker. *

7. A binder containing:

The Rules for Submissions. *

Glossary of Terms. *

Articles on names. (on Web Site.)

List of Unacceptable books for name documentation. (on Web Site) *

List of Forbidden and Restricted Charges (on Web Site) *

Argent Snail's Insta Boing Check-list. (on Web Site) *

Frequently Given Answers (That Are Wrong). (on Web Site) *

8. Herald's Tabard or Baldric. *

9. Order of Precedence.

10. Throat lozenges / cough drops (whatever type you prefer.) *

11. Court report forms (if your kingdom requires them to be prepared by the officiating herald).

12. For outdoor events, sunscreen and/or head covering.

C. Things you need to have but can leave at home.

1. File cabinet or other storage box for the group's files. *

(Copies of all correspondence, both incoming and outgoing, and all submissions.) *

2. Submission forms - masters. *

3. Heraldry books:

A. Boutell's Heraldry, alternatively, Fox-Davies - A Complete Guide to Heraldry or Bedingfeld & Jones - Heraldry. Be aware that Fox-Davies and Boutell are writing from a Victorian perspective.

B. Parker - A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry, alternatively, Brooke-Little - An Heraldic Alphabet, or Friar - A Dictionary of Heraldry

D. There are lots more you might want to have. See Laurel's web site for an annotated bibliography.

4. Name books: (see comment above.)

5. Corpora

6. Kingdom Law