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calligraphy-msg - 2/5/08


Inks, papers, calligraphic styles.


NOTE: See also the files: callig-suppl-msg, inks-msg, parchment-msg, paper-msg, quills-msg, sealing-wax-msg, alphabets-msg, early-books-msg, wax-tablets-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org




Date: 17 Nov 89 05:06:00 GMT

Organization: Society for Creative Anachronism


Greetings once again from Sarra Graeham, who evidently finds posting to

the Rialto *much* more fun than working on scrolls . . . (sigh)


Most of the books recommended so far are lovely picture books that give

many good ideas about what to do, but say very little about how to do

it.  If I were to get someone started on calligraphy with books, these

would be my choices:


Drogin, Marc.  _Medieval Calligraphy:  Its History and Technique_, Allanheld

     and Schram, Montclair, 1980.

Available in most major university libraries, and still in print, this is

the *best* book for our purposes in existence.  Gives step-by-step instruc-

tions for each hand so simple a rank novice can follow it, and is chock full

of pictures of actual manuscripts.  Accept no substitutes.


Bain, George.  _Celtic Art:  The Methods of Construction_, Dover Publications

     Inc., New York, 19??.

Gives wonderfully clear instructions about how knotwork and all the other

goodies in Celtic art is done.  Ignore his instructions on how to do Celtic

calligraphy, though, and use Drogin instead.


Angel, Marie.  _Painting for Calligraphers_, ?? (Sorry, don't own the book)

Although this is a modern book, it has some good instructions about painting

technique, tools, media, etc., all with the needs of a calligrapher in mind.


Thompson, Daniel V.  _The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting_,

     Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1956.  ISBN 0-486-20327-1

Not a book for the rank beginner, but an excellent research work on how

exactly the medievals went about painting.  The author has done a lot of

research on the actual chemistry of medieval art.


Hope this helps.


     Sarra Graeham, Ealdormere Signet    |    Heather Fraser

     Canton of Greyfells, Midrealm       |    Kingston, Ontario, CANADA



From: joshua at paul.rutgers.edu (Joshua Mittleman)

Date: 17 Nov 89 18:02:06 GMT

Organization: Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J.


hello there!  Long time no post.  Some new info on scribe sources for


1) George Braziller publishers has moved.  I'll post the new address

on monday. They are now on Madison Ave. in NY city.

2) Marc Drogin's book _Medieval Calligraphy..._ is out of print, but

is due BACK IN PRINT as of November 17 by Dover books in paperback.

Your local bookstore should be able to order it in 1 week. I'll post

their address (they have SUPER catalogs) monday as well.



From: norteman at discvr.enet.dec.com ("My brain is hanging upside-down.")

Date: 22 Nov 89 14:45:18 GMT

Organization: Society for Creative Anachronism

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca


Greetings, all, from Ariel.


Thanks to Fionnghuala (and Rayah) for the excellent list of sources for


I plan to send for everything that I don't already get!


Here's the address of another bookshop I often visit. Their main business is

in books about books and collectors' editions of certain authors, but their

interests have branched out into bookbinding, calligraphy and illumination,

and the making of books before printing.



The Colophon Bookshop

(Robert and Christine Liska, props.)

117 Water Street

Exeter, NH 03833


Write for their book lists, which come out bimonthly (or more often,


Most of what they sell won't be of interest to the mediaeval scribe, but I've

found some real treasures through them.


William: Thanks for the description of the half-hour scroll.  My "quickies"

usually take two hours or more, but I still want to make sure that even those

will survive the ravages of time.  I never use marker for anything -- I've seen

ten-year-old scrolls done with markers (or signed in marker) in which the ink

has all but disappeared.


The best SCA publication I've ever seen on scribal stuff is Crossed Quills,

More [Y,n]?


the Midrealm calligraphers' newsletter.  Does anyone from the Midrealm


have Beryl de Folo's address handy and can post it to this forum?  Anyway, I

recommend this newsletter VERY highly for the wealth of useful information

it contains: facsimiles of historical hands, sample layouts in different

styles, illumination techniques and samples... scribes everywhere should find

it fascinating.  Best of all, you can barter photocopies or slides of your

work for issues!


Enough from this ink-stained wretch.


--Ariel of Caer Myrddin (Karen J. Norteman)

Shire of Malagentia (Portland, Maine)

East Kingdom

<norteman%discvr.dec at decwrl.dec.com>



The most recent address I have for FoLump Enterprises is: 805 East Green #1,

Urbana IL 61801.  It's about six years old, so it may or may not work.



From: norteman at discvr.enet.dec.com (Casting runes on the rooftops)

Date: 16 Jan 90 20:04:31 GMT

Organization: Society for Creative Anachronism


Greetings, all, from Ariel.


Marc Drogin's book Mediaeval Calligraphy: Its History and Technique has just

hit the bookshelves again, after a long absence.  This time it's been


by Dover Books.


You can order it by mail if it's not at your friendly local bookstore.  Price

is $10.95, order number 0-486-26142-5.  The publisher is:


Dover Publications, Inc.

31 East 2nd Street

Mineola, NY  11501


Yo Carolingians!  Barilleri Books, the new bookstore in Harvard Square, has a

whole bunch of copies.  They're 10% off, too.


For those of you not familiar with Drogin's book, this is a must-have.  Drogin

discusses the history of mediaeval calligraphy from AD 400 till the end of

the 15th century, "after which that instrument of the Devil, the printing


was invented and changed the course of calligraphic history" (quote his).

Drogin also talks about the alphabets, the materials used, the scribes them-

selves, and even the patron demon of calligraphy, Titivullus.  There are lots

of writing samples, actual bits of documents to look at, and (of course) a

heavy dose of Drogin's humour.


Go out and get this book, or get the acquisitions librarian or your local

Guild head to order it.  Trust me -- this is well worth having.


--Ariel of Caer Myrddin (Karen J. Norteman)

Shire of Malagentia (Portland, Maine)

East Kingdom

<norteman%discvr.dec at decwrl.dec.com>



From: aiden at NCoast.ORG (Steven Otlowski)

Date: 9 Apr 91 23:35:14 GMT

Organization: North Coast Public Access Un*x (ncoast)


Problems with ink bleeding can also be helped by using Gum Sandarac.  It

can be mail ordered from a number of calligraphy shops. It is a tree gum

resin.  If finely powdered and dusted onto the paper it helps prevent

bleeding.  It is also particularly usefull if you have made a correction

and injured the original "sizing" on the paper.


Aiden Elfeadur -



From: amanda at visix.com (Amanda Walker)

Date: 23 Jul 91 15:06:09 GMT

Organization: Visix Software Inc., Reston, VA


DICKSNR at qucdn.queensu.ca ("Ross M. Dickson") writes:

>I hope m'lady will find this a

>happy addition rather than an offensive contradiction,


Just so, m'lord :).


>Goose quills were used, and I don't believe any of the treatments you

>describe were performed -- in particular the heat treatment.  The quill

>was carefully cut into the appropriate shape using an Exacto knife.


If the quill is fairly large (and thus has relatively thick walls), the

heat treatment is less necessary.  It's mainly a way of improving the

likely results for many quills.


>Her observation was that the flexibility of the quill and the smoothness

>of the parchment made the quality of the lines obtained *immensely*

>superior to anything she could do with a steel nib on paper.


Indeed.  Writing with a quill on vellum or parchment is nothing at all

like writing with a steel pen on paper.  Utter bliss...


>She would be delighted to hear of other sources dealing with quill-cutting.


I believe that Johnston covered it in "Writing, Illuminating, and Lettering."

I taught myself from The Calligrapher's Handbook (put out by the the

Society of Scribes & Illuminators in England, and I believe out of print).


>Sarra, however, found no advantage whatsoever to cutting a slit in the

>goose quill pen, and indeed it was just a good way to ruin the tip.


The slit is *very* tricky to get right, but it can help a lot in evening

out the ink flow.  This is where heat treating helps, as it makes the

quill less likely to splinter when a slit is cut.


>She suspects that the slit-cutting was not described simply because it

>wasn't done.


My sources are at home, but I believe that it was done, albeit not



I am, however, happy to defer to greater expertise--the first way I tried

worked fine, so I've stuck with it.  I know Master Aiden has done quite

a bit with quills (and found a source for quill knives), and might be

able to contribute some experience as well.


Arwen                                                   <amanda at visix.com>

Scribe at Small



From: cat at fgssu1.sinet.slb.COM (Insignificant Pondscum)

Date: 24 Jul 91 17:07:23 GMT


To quote Amanda:


"I taught myself from The Calligrapher's Handbook (put out by the Society

of Scribes and Illuminators in England, and I believe out of print)."


If you were referring to the blue covered Calligrapher's Handbook which

is editted by Heather Child, then it is still in print. If you can't

find it, you can mail order it from Amsterdam Art on University in

Berkeley CA - they always have it in stock.  If someone out there is

doing scribal stuff, I recommend this book highly.  It's got really good

stuff in it, like recipes for gum ammoniac, gesso sotile, parchement and

vellum prep, pigments-to-paints, and other gems.  In my not so humble

opinion, it's a must-have for anyone of scribal pretensions.  (For people

who I have taught scribal stuff to, I usually give them a copy if they

look at all serious about doing scrolls).   The mythical Mistress Aldith

Anharad St. George says: "buy this book!"




* Meisterin Therasia von Tux, OP  * "Imitation is the surest           *

* cat at fgssu1.sinet.slb.com        *  indication of butt sucking"       *

*                                 *  - the mythical Mistress Aldith    *

*                                 *    Anharad St. George             *




From: bhw at aifh.ed.ac.uk (Barbara H. Webb (Phd 89))

Date: 24 Jul 91 13:38:49 GMT

Organization: Dept AI, Edinburgh University, Scotland


I'm afraid I missed the first posting (Arwen's) about quills (if someone

would mail me a copy I would be grateful). But the second post didn't

tally at all with my experience with quills so I thought I would add

some comments. I assume the basic shaping methods have been covered



I have been cutting and using quills for about two years now and I find

the vast superiority of the resulting calligraphy makes them well worth

the effort. Unfortunately I still can't cut a perfect quill every time,

but the average is improving.


I use goose feathers, and I find only the larger ones are stiff enough

to be useful. I treat them by soaking in vinegar overnight and then

heating them by putting them in hot sand (heated in the oven) and this

definitely helps by making them stiffer (a quick method that gives

reasonably results is to hold them carefully over a flame for a few

moments, but this sometime results in a smell of burning feathers!).

Turkey feathers seem to be okay as well (treat same way).


I use a curved scalpel blade (easy to get at art shops) to cut the nib

shape, and the blade from a safety razor to cut the slit, then the

scalpel blade to do the essential final shaping - a diagonal shaving of

the top of the tip (gives incredibly fine lines) and a sharp very

straight cut across the top (this is one I haven't yet mastered to my

satisfaction, but it must be a perfectly straight edge for the pen to

behave well, especially using paper (I wish I could afford vellum!)).


I found the critical part in getting working pens was the slit and it

leaves me in some amazement that someone would find the slit

unnecessary. I can only assume that the pen is being used in a completely

different way, with small amounts of ink on the tip being spread across

the paper, rather than the ink being very gradually fed by the slit to

the tip of the pen. By the first method I could only get a few letters

without redipping, whereas with slitted pens you get ten to twenty or more

words from a drop of ink loaded into the pen by a paintbrush. This seems

practical evidence that they did use pens with slits (I'm certain they

didn't write a few letters at a time) but there is also instructions for

making a slit in the pen in several medieval artists handbooks (sorry,

refs not handy, but could be acquired) and illuminations of scribes that

clearly show pens with slits in them.

The problem I had with the slit was that putting pressure on the pen for

writing would make the two sections of the tip part slightly, opening

the slit and stopping the flow of ink (it works by osmosis). Using the

pen upside down over came this but wasn't a satisfactory solution - you

don't get such nice writing (although it's still better than lots of

calligraphy fountain pens). The solution of this problem was three-fold

1. The use of a stiffer quill (see above) which doesn't open under


2. The use of a very fine blade (see above) to get a very fine and even


3. Cutting the slit shorter and the nib into a more square shape

than the shape of modern steel nibs, which also counteracts the tendency

of the sides to part.


As I mention above, having this sort of pen work requires a very

straight edge, because the ink is drawn onto the width of the tip of the

nib by osmosis when the tip is flat against the paper, so any

irregularites will disturb the flow of ink (yes you do need smooth sorts

of paper but I assume that's what you use). It can be a frustrating

buisness try to trim a nib into shape (and once you've used it a while

it needs retrimming) but the results are WONDERFUL as anyone who has

tried a good nib will know.


I hope these observations will be useful to other scribes: and I would

certainly be interested in hearing how others have fared in their

experiments with quill pens. And I would advise any calligraphers to try

it some time - there are calligraphic strokes in medieval scripts that

you just _can't do_ with a modern pen, but they flow beautifully from a

quill! I'm just sorry this medium doesn't permit me to demonstrate :-)


In service,


Caitlin de Courcy.



23 Jan 92

PTH 1:109/401.0 at FidoNet

From: henwe at sssab.se (Henric Weyde)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: Scandinavian System Support AB





Greetings unto the good people on the Rialto,


My humble suggestion:


The Gutenberg printing was introduced in the 15th century. i know for

certain that by 1470 absolution letters were preprinted forms where

only the place, date, time, name and price was left out to be filled in

by hand.


(What a pity this invention was made for every administration in this

world to follow without any restain).


So, make or find an appropriate original, get hold of an old type handmade

paper and use a modern type of photocopier.


If you want a paper to achieve the appearance of a parchement, oil it with

raw linessed oil and turpentine (50/50).


If you want to add a seal use a jute string and a porcelaineclay that will

harden in an oven.


My facsimile absolution letter, original from 1485 found in the Swedish

national archives is considered good enough to appear at a medieaval

exhibition at the local museum.


Depending on the occasion this might be something to consider?


/Your humble servant


Bartolomeo di Camerino

alias Henric Weyde



Date: 31 Jan 92

From: ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: University of Chicago Computing Organizations


"Perhaps our scribes could improve their visibility in some way."



This suggests an interesting way of combining visibility with

appreciation. I believe that period scribes in at least some period

cultures had pen cases--things they wore that held pens, perhaps ink,

etc. I have not checked any details, but I am pretty sure I remember

a pen case as one of the charges described in "Mamluk Heraldry," and

I think there are similar things in Christian Europe. How about a

kingdom project (by the non-scribes) to research what pen cases

looked like, make a lot of recognizably similar ones, and, over time,

present one to every scribe who does award scrolls. That would both

be a thankyou and make it easier to recognize scribes who did award






31 Jan 92

From: branwen at flipper.ccc.amdahl.com (Karen Williams)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: Amdahl Corporation, Sunnyvale CA


In article <9201301851.AA27232 at premise.prime.com.> nathan at premise.prime.COM (Nathan Kronenfeld) writes:


>Official scrolls are far from the only possible place to use one's

>calligraphic skill.


Before I assign scrolls to people, I need to see an example of their

calligraphy and illumination. For new people, this is difficult, since

they haven't done anything yet. I have been having them just do a scroll,

but in the few cases were the scroll isn't acceptable but they think it's

just lovely, I have a problem. So recently I've decided that for new

people, as a warrant piece I'll have them illuminate a period poem. That

way, they can take home their work, and if I can't use their first effort,

they still can.


Branwen ferch Emrys

The Mists, the West


                                          Karen Williams

                                          branwen at flipper.ras.amdahl.com


Re: Scribal visibility

3 Feb 92

From: habura at vccnorthb.its.rpi.edu (Andrea Marie Habura)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY


Cariadoc asks for information on European pen holders. Ther is one that I

became aware of through heraldry (what else? Boy, I'm in a rut. Someone talk

about embroidery, quick!).

The Worshipful Company of Scriveners of the City of London, a period guild,

have in their arms an eagle holding in the beak an object called a "penner

and inkhorn". It consists of a scabbard-shaped object with a cap, which seems

to be a pen holder, and a squat container (probably an ink bottle), connected

by two lengths of cord. Pathetic ASCII art follows. Bear with me.


            X*****---------/ /------------------*****X

******************                             *********

****************** pen holder                 #*********

******************                    bottle  #*********

******************                            #*********

******************                             *********

            X*****--------/ /-------------------*****X


The X's are knots in the cord. The cord is run through little tubes on the

sides of the containers and knotted. The pen holder is longer than it

looks, and is pointed at the bottom.


The eagle in the Scriveners' arms holds this object by the cord, with the

two containers dangling down on either side. It appears that this object

would do nicely on a belt (with the inkhorn empty, or with a very good stopper). It has the advantage of being distinctive, easy to carry prominently, and

easy and cheap to make in its simplest form.


Sounding off as usual,

Alison MacDermot



Contacting John the Artificer (period pigments, etc.)

4 Feb 92

From: Marion.Kee at a.nl.cs.cmu.EDU

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca


Greeting to the Rialto from Marian Greenleaf:


[Master] John the Artificer, O.L., may be contacted as:


John Rose

250 Emerson St.

Pittsburgh, PA  15206


(412) 362-0421


You might want to put an "Attention: ordering pigments" line, or some

such, on the envelope.  Or just call him and find out what to send him.

If you write for information, I recommend sending an SASE.


John also is a source for woad seeds, information on ferret breeding,

and a number of other interesting items both material and intellectual.

He speaks barter, although cash has a lot of appeal.  If you're really

interested in learning something from him, let him know; he really

likes teaching interested people, although he can be abrupt at times.





18 May 92

From: jtn at nutter.cs.vt.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca


Unto the good gentles of the Rialto does Lord Hossein Ali Qomi send greetings

and prayers for the blessings of Allah.


Lord Jeremy de Merstone recently posted a perceptive comment on "official"

calligraphy in the SCA:


>The main problem with award scrolls is that their period counterparts

>(when anybody bothered to set them down on a special piece of parchment/

>paper/vellum/whatever in the first place, as opposed to just recording

>them on a list in a ledger someplace during a visitation) were simply

>not very decorative.  They weren't meant to be.  The important part was

>*what* the thing said ("So-and-so and his progeny have the right to do

>such-and-such, signed, The King"), and not how they *looked*.  [As with

>anything, there were occasional exceptions to this general statement,

>but this held pretty well true until after the SCA's period.]


Lord Jeremy is by and large quite right about the general lack of decoration

in official documents -- letters patent, charters, writs, etc. -- in the

medieval period.  However, his example -- "So-and-so and his progeny have

the right to do such-and-such, signed The King" -- isn't quite so correct.

The formularies in official documents varied widely by time and place and,

indeed, a substantial branch of the paleographic science, diplomatics, is

given to the analysis of such formularies.  


I have found that most calligraphers in the SCA tend toward the kinds of

book hands and illumination which were not characteristic of medieval

official documents for two reasons.  First, book calligraphy and illumination

is more aesthetically pleasing to many; it's very pretty and it catches the

eye right readily.  The problem is that medieval official documents weren't

designed to catch the eye.  Second, book calligraphy and illumination are

far more commonly available as exemplars than medieval official document

texts -- coffeetable books of illuminated manuscripts, while expensive, are

usually available in any good bookstore; facsimiles of official documents

are generally not.


I do _only_ official document recreations.  The reasons are simple.  I'm

the lousiest artist in the SCA and most book hands and fancy illumination

are simply beyond my capacity.  I use Latin paleography and diplomatics in

my mundane research and am familiar with the abbreviation systems and

court/secretarial hands, particularly those used in English and Imperial

chanceries.  Finally, I think authenticity is more important than aesthetics --

harried clerks and scribes in royal chanceries weren't that concerned with

beauty, they had mountains of parchment-work to sort through daily.


I've had the advantage of formal training in paleography and acquaintance

with a wide range of paleographic and diplomatic studies and have collected

a bibliography of useful texts and facsimiles of official documents suitable

for exemplars for analogous SCA scrolls.  I have edited the bibliography

down to things which most university libraries will probably have; there are

roughly another hundred rarer facsimile collections which one is likely to

find only in major research libraries at institutions which grant Ph.D.s

in medieval history (if anyone is _truly_ interested, I'd be happy to email

that list as well, when I shan't be needing my hands for anything after

all that typing).


The following is a lengthy, but partial, bibliography of sources for texts

and/or facsimiles of period diplomata:


_Album paleographique ou Recueil de documents importants relatifs a

l'histoire et a la litterature nationales_ (Paris, 1887).


C. Bemont, _Chartes des libertes anglaises_ (Paris, 1902).


T.A.M.Bishop and P. Chaplais, _Facsimiles of English Royal Writs to A.D.

1100)_ (Oxford, 1957).


T.A.M. Bishop, _Scriptores Regis: Facsimiles to Identify and Illustrate the

Hands of Royal Scribes in Original Carters of Henry I, Stephen, and

Henry II_ (Oxford, 1955).


A. de Bouard, _Manuel de diplomatique francaise et pontificale_ (Paris,



B. de Broussillon, _Cartulaire de l'abbaye de Saint-Aubin d'Angers_

(Paris, 1903).


P. Chevreux and J. Vernier, _Les Archives de Normandie et de la Seine-

Inferieure: recueil de facsimiles_ (Rouen, 1911).


H.W.C. Davies, _Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum_ (Oxford, 1913).


L.Delisle and E. Berger, _Recueil des Actes de Henry II concernant les

provinces francaises et les affaires de France_ (Paris, 1909-27).


N. Denholm-Young, _Handwriting in England and Wales_ (Cardiff, 1954).


D.C. Douglas, _Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds_

(London, 1932).


Sir G.F. Duckett, _Charters and Records Among the Archives of the

Ancient Abbey of Cluny_ (Lewes, 1888).


_Facsimiles of Ancient Charters in the British Museum_ (London, 1876-



_Facsimiles of Early Charters in Northamptonshire Collections_

(Northampton, 1930).


E. Falconi, _L'edizione diplomatica del documento e del manoscritto_

(Parma, 1969).


W. Farrer, _Early Yorkshire Charters_ (Edinburgh, 1914-16).


H. Fichtenau, _Das Urkundenwesen in Oesterreich vom 8. bis zum

fruehen 13. Jahrhundert_ (Vienna, 1971).


V. Federici, _La Scrittura delle cancellerie italiane dal secolo XII al XVII_

(Rome, 1934).


F. Gasparri, _L'Ecriture des actes de Louis VI, Louis VII, et Phillippe

Auguste_ (Geneva, 1973).


B.E.C. Guerard, _Cartulaire de Saint-Pere de Chartres_ (Paris, 1840).


N.D. Harding, _Bristol Charters, 1155-1373_ (Bristol, 1930).


W.H. Hart and P.A. Lyons, _Cartularium Monasterii de Rameseia_

(London, 1884-93).


W. Hunt, _Two Chartularies of the Priory of St. Peter of Bath_ (Somerset,



C. Johnson and H. Jenkinson, _English Court Hand, A.D. 1066-1500_

(Oxford, 1915).


H. Jenkinson, _The Later Court Hands in England from the XVth to the

XVII Century_ (Cambridge, 1927).


W.T. Lancaster, _Chartulary of the Prior of Bridlington_ (Leeds, 1912).


A.C. Laurie, _Early Scottish Charters prior to 1153_ (Glasgow, 1905).


E. de Lepinois and L. Merlet, _Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres_

(Chartres, 1861-65).


L.C. Lloyd and D.M. Stenton, _Sir Christopher Hatton's Book of Seals_

(Oxford, 1950).


T. Madox, _Formulare Anglicanum, or a Collection of Ancient Charters_

(London, 1702).


J. Mallon, _L'Ecriture de la chancellerie imperiale romaine_

(Salamanca, 1948).


E. Monaci, et al. _Archivo Paleografico Italiano_ (Rome, 1882- ) [15 vols.]


_Monumenta Germaniae Historica_ [a series of dozens of volumes

providing texts for virtually all the extant Merovingian, Carolingian,

and Holy Roman Imperial manuscripts, as well as patristic and

ecclesiastical literature -- breathtakingly exhaustive German

scholarship at its best].


E. Prou, _Recueil de fac-similes d'ecritures du Ve au XVIIe siecle_ (Paris,



A.J. Robertson, _Anglo-Saxon Charters_ (Cambridge, 1939).


J.H. Round, _Ancient Charters Royal and Private Prior to A.D. 1200_

(London, 1888).


J.H. Round, _Calendar of Documents Preserved in France_ (London,



H.E. Salter, _The Boarstall Cartulary_ (Oxford, 1930).


H.E. Salter, _Facsimiles of Early Charters in Oxford Muniment Rooms_

(Oxford, 1929).


W.B. Sanders, _Facsimiles of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts_ (Southampton,



F. Sauer and J. Stummvoll, _Codices Selecti Phototypice Impressi_ (Graz,



G.C. Simpson, _Scottish Handwriting, 1150-1650_ (Edinburgh, 1973).


F.M. Stenton, _English Feudalism_ (Oxford, 1932).


F.M. Stenton, _Transcripts of Charters Relating to Gilbertine Houses_

(Lincoln, 1922).


R. Thommen, _Urkendenlehre_  (Leipzig/Berlin, 1913).


J.J. Vernier, _Chartes de l'abbaye de Jumieges_ (Rouen, 1916).


G.F. Warner and H.J. Ellis, _Facsimiles of Royal and Other Charters in the

British Museum_ (London, 1903).


C.E. Wright, _English Vernacular Hands from the Twelfth to the

Fifteenth Centuries_ (Oxford, 1960).


I hope that a bibliography of this sort is useful.


In Service to the Society,

Hossein Ali Qomi



Subject:Awards & scrolls

Date: 25 May 92

From: perkins at msupa.pa.msu.EDU (Jeremy de Merstone)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: The Internet


Arval writes:


> Graydon, you made one side point that caught my eye:


> > First off, the whole SCA concept of 'scroll' is a modern construction.

> > I have only encountered such words as 'writ' and 'charter' and 'letters

> > close' and 'letters patent' and 'capitulary' in reference to medieval

> > legal documents.  So the name is invented.


> Excellent point; let us dedicate ourselves to stamping out that word, and

> adopting the more authentic terms.  Can anyone give us precise definitions

> of these terms and others related?


Wait!  Before anyone goes around "stamping out" the word "scroll", let's

check the OED.  Notes: "a" in front of a date means "before" (from _ante_);

I have represented the letters "edh" and "thorn" by <th>, and the letter

"yogh" by <y>;  meanings without bearing on the discussion have been

ignored, as have all OOP citations, and in-period citations beyond a limit

of two per meaning.


  Scroll  (meaning 1) A roll of paper or parchment, usually one with

          writing upon it.

        14.. Nom. in Wr.-Wulcker 682/26 "Hec sidulo, a scrowle"

       a1513 FABYAN Chron VII (1533) 152b "He therfore redde the scrowle

             of resignacyon him selfe..."


  Scrowe  (meaning 1) = SCROLL, meaning 1

       a1225 Ancr. R. 282 "<Y>if <th>u hauest knif o<th>er clo<th>, mete

             o<th>er drunch, scrowe o<th>er quaer, holi monne uroure."

        13.. Coer de L. 3395 "Looke every mannys name thou wryte, Upon a

             scrowe off parchemyn."


  Roll (meaning I.1) A piece of parchment, paper, or the like, which is

          written upon or intended to contain writing, etc., and is rolled

          up for convenience of handling or carrying; a scroll.

       a1225 Ancr. R. 344 "Nis non so lutel <th>inng of <th>eos <th>et

             <th>e deouel naue<th> enbreued on his rolle."

        1303 R. BRUNNE Handl. Synne 9287 "Wy<th> hys te<th>e he gan to

             drawe,.. <Th>at hys rolle to-braste and ro<s>e."


       (meaning I.2) {spec.} Such a piece of parchment, paper, etc.

          inscribed with some formal or official record; a document or

          instrument in this form.

        1377 LANGL. P. Pl. B, xix, 460 "With _spiritus_intellectus_ they

             seke <th>e reues rolles."

        1433 Rolls of Parl. IV 479/1 "That the rolles of accounte of the

             Baillifs, and the rentall rolle,.. and all Court rolles been

             putte and kepte in the cofre."


[In Latin documents of the time, the terms "Sedulum" (1224), "Rotulus"

(1142) and "Rollus" (1162), along with spelling variants and specifying

adjectives were used for what we would call a "scroll".]


As for Graydon's suggestions:


  Writ (meaning 3) A formal writing or paper of any kind; a legal document

          or instrument.

       a1122 O. E. Chron. (Laud. MS) an.963 "Hu se papa Agatho hit

             feostnode mid his write".

       a1200 in Kemble Cod. Dipl. IV 203 "Ich mid <th>usen write <y>elde

             and <y>eue...."

       (the more general meaning of "that which is written" goes back at

        least to the 10th century; a detour into French and back gave the

        synonym "escript" found from the late 15th century till after 1700)


  Charter (etymol. discussion) lit. A leaf of paper (in OE, called "boc",

          BOOK); a legal document or 'deed' written (usually) upon a single

          sheet of paper, parchment, or other material, by which grants,

          cessions, contracts, and other transactions are confirmed and


        (meaning 1) A written document delivered by the sovereign or

          legislature: [goes on to give specific reasons for such delivery

          with examples going back to the 13th century, including the Magna


        (meaning 2) A written evidence, instrument, or contract executed

          between man and man : [examples in three sub-categories from the

          13th century on]

        (meaning 4) As a rendering of L. _charta_ taken: Paper; a paper,

          writing, letter, document, etc. [examples from 14th century from

          the Wyclif Bible]


  Letters Close ... the term doesn't seem to appear in the OED under either

          "letter" or "close".  There is mention of "close rolls" being

          collections of "close writs" (grants under the Great Seal to

          private individuals for particular purposes) and similar items,

          with the earliest example from 1612.


  Letters Patent (meaning I.1 under "patent") An open letter or document,

          usually from a sovereign or person in authority, issued for

          various purposes, e.g., to put on record some agreement or

          contract, to authorize or command something to be done, to confer

          some right, privilege, title, property, or office... [examples

          from 1292 onwards].


  Capitulary (meaning 2) A collection of ordinances (in mod. L. called

        _capitula_), especially those made on their own authority by the

        Frankish Kings. [examples of this and the variant form "capitular"

        all date from after 1600; as a *Latin* term (thus ignored by the

        OED), I have a reference from the 13th century of "capitularium",

        meaning the set of regulations of a religious chapter--JdM].


While several of Graydon's examples are perfectly fine alternate terms,

there is nothing wrong with "scroll", either (and this is just English --

"escroue" plus spelling variants were the French versions).


Jeremy de Merstone       George J Perkins    perkins at msupa.pa.msu.edu

North Woods, MidRealm    East Lansing, MI    perkins at msupa (Bitnet)



Subject: Scribal arts (was Concep

Date: 21 May 92

From: Stephen.Whitis at f4229.n124.z1.fidonet.org (Stephen Whitis)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca


Arvcal wrote...

>The East does not have standard promissaries.  We do give out

>promissaries from time to time, but they are done as needed by scribes

>in service to the Crown, and I must say that they are often pretty

>wonderful pieces of work on their own.  I know that some kingdoms use

>photocopied scroll-blanks as promissaries; I'd be interested to hear how

>this varies from kingdom to kingdom.  What does your kingdom give out

>with an award?


I too would be interested in how other kingdoms handle award



In Ansteorra, at AOA and Grant level, each award has one or more

blanks which we call charters.  A charter is similar to a coloring

book page, being a B&W copy (on nice paper) which has the

calligraphy and outlines for the illumination.  The spaces where

the recipients name, the date, the branch holding the event, and

the crown signs are left blank and filled in as needed. These

blank charters are distributed amoung the illuminers, who paint

them to look like "real" scrolls.  (Or a faxcimile thereof! :-))


In addition, and in theory, each person can request a "real"

scroll, (Called an achievement) one at each major level. (AOA,

Grant, Peerage.)  The kingdom scroll person will assign that scroll

to one of the advanced calligraphy/illumination persons, who will

work with the recipient to come up with a scroll they will like,

and this scribe will then make the scroll.  The achievement will

have their arms (if registered) and some reference to all the

awards that person has received so far.  (I'm not sure if they will

assign achievements for someone who does not have registered arms,

or if they do, how it is handled.)


In practice, there is no backlog on the charters.  (Though they

usually are running close to empty.)  But very few of the

achievements are done.  In fact, most people never make a request

for an achievement.  (IMO, because they don't expect to ever see

it.)  The few achievements that *do* get completed are usually from

a situation where person A wants a scroll, and is a friend of

person B, a scribe.  They tell the kingdom person they are doing

it, and do it.


I could of course give my opinions about changes that I think

should be made in our system, but I think I'll pass for now.


Stephen Whitis/Stephen of the Grove

Steppes/Ansteorra  FIDO 1:124/4229



Date: 22 May 92

From: branwen at cerebus.ccc.amdahl.com (Karen Williams)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: Amdahl Corporation, Sunnyvale CA


OK, so SCA award scrolls aren't period, and everyone assumes that calligraphy

and illumination are free. What sorts of c&i would be valued (enough to sell)

by the population, and be period?

How about:

a period recipe?

a love poem?

a war poem?

an indulgence from the church?


Do you think someone of Viking persuasion would love to own a copy of

a saga (or part of one) done in the appropriate hand and with the appropriate

illumination? Wouldn't a thirteenth-century recipe look great framed on

your kitchen wall? (Eric Foxworthy wrote out "Louie, Louie" in Elvish,

with illumination including gold leaf, and sold color photocopies at a con.

They went quickly.)


One of my upcoming projects is a bestiary (which I'm making for myself,

wonder of wonders). I'd like to do a Book of Hours for myself, too, someday.

Ah, and a carpet page. I'd love a carpet page.


Anybody have any other ideas of valuable, period calligraphy and illumination?


Branwen ferch Emrys

The Mists, the West


                                          Karen Williams

                                          branwen at cerebus.ras.amdahl.com



Awards & scrolls

25 May 92

From: Tim at f4229.n124.z1.fidonet.org (Tim)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca


Fra Tadhg Liath unto Master Arval Benicoeur and all others unto whom these

presents shall have come giveth greeting:


JM> Graydon, you made one side point that caught my eye:


JM> > First off, the whole SCA concept of 'scroll' is a modern construction.

JM> > I have only encountered such words as 'writ' and 'charter' and 'letters

JM> > close' and 'letters patent' and 'capitulary' in reference to medieval

JM> > legal documents.  So the name is invented.


JM> Excellent point; let us dedicate ourselves to stamping out that word, and

JM> adopting the more authentic terms.  Can anyone give us precise definitions

JM> of these terms and others related?


Certainly. While I was one of the Shield Heralds of the Middle Kingdom ten

years ago (and mundanely a law student) I did a report for Mistress

Graidhne, then Dragon Principal Herald, on that very subject.


The *carta* or charter was the most formal and solemn document produced by

governments during the Middle Ages. They were invariably used for grants of

rights "in perpetuity", such as lands, hereditable honors and franchises,

and Papal privileges (called "bulls" from the lead *bulla* or seal).

Charters were also used for solemn confirmations of prior grants (in

England referred to as an "Inspeximus" from the initial word of the

dispositive clause). Charters were discontinued in England in 1516 after a

period of decline, their function being increasingly taken over by letters



*Litterae patentes* or "letters patent" were so called because they were

open (or "patent") for all to read, as distinct from "letters close"

(*litterae clausae), which were sealed closed so that only the recipient

would read them (since the seal had to be broken to get at the text).

Letters patent differed from charters in the form of address, the manner

of sealing, the formula of the Injunction, and the manner of attestation.


"Writ" is the English translation of the Latin term "breve", more

literally "brief" (surviving in Scots law as "brieve"). It refers to an

official letter of instruction from an office of government to a particular

person, typically a government official, to take some action. It survives

as such primarily in the legal system, in the form of an instruction from

a court. Commonly encountered writs in the English-speaking world are the

writ of Habeas Corpus, requiring that someone be either brought to trial

or released; the writ of mandamus, through which a higher court modifies

the actions of a lower; and the writ of summons to parliament, which in

England is used to initiate elections and assemble the peers for a

parliamentary session. The traditional "forms of action" of English Common

Law depended upon the "original writs" from the King's Chancery that were

avalailable to any subject for the initiation of legal actions in the

King's Courts.


A "capitulary" is an abbreviated record of legal documents relating to a

certain subject, so called from the fact that it was arranged by "headings"

or "chapters". The term generally refers to compilations of ordinances

issued by the Frankish kings during the early parts of our Period.


To Haj Hossein's excellent bibliography recently posted I should like to

add some other titles that people working with medieval diplomata,

especially those just starting out, might find useful:


= The standard law dictionaries: Black's for the U.S. and Jowett's for

   Britain. One can often plainly see the skeleton of medieval practice

   underlying the structure of modern legal uses of certain terms.


= Hubert Hall, *Studies in English Historical Documents* (1908) and its

   companion the two-volume *Formula Book of English Historical Documents*

   (1908). The latter was reprinted in 1969; I can't seem to find my set,

   otherwise I'd post details.


= Pierre Chaplais, *English Royal Documents King John - Henry VI

   1199-1461* (1971) is, I think, the best starting place for an SCA

   researcher without prior exposure.


= Arthur Giry, *Manuel de Diplomatique* (1925), especially nice for its

   coverage of seals and sealing methods.


= Cesare Paoli, *Diplomatica* (1942), deals extensively with Italy and

   especially the Papal chancery, which was the model for all medieval



= Harry Breslau, *Handbuch der Urkundenlehre fuer Deutschland und Italien*

   (1889), which I believe was reprinted in 1958.


= Ludwig Rockinger, *Ueber Formelbuecher vom XII biz zum XVI Jahrhunderts

   als rechtsgeschichliche Quellen* (1855) and *Ueber Briefsteller und

   Formelbuecher in Deutschland waehrend des Mittelalter* (1861) deal with

   the formula books that medieval chanceries themselves used in the

   preparation of documents.


Further more detailed information may be had from my article "Medieval

Official Document Forms" in the Proceedings of the Known World Heraldic

Symposium (Ansteorra 1990), which is still available if I'm not mistaken.


        Tadhg, Hanaper


* Origin: Herald's Point * Steppes/Ansteorra * 214-699-0057 (1:124/4229)



From: Jeff Lee <jlee at smylex.UUCP>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: scrolls.....

Date: Mon,  5 Jul 93 11:08:08 EDT

Organization: Wyvernwood, Trimaris  (Tampa, FL)


Greetings from Godfrey!


Nicolaa de Bracton of Leicester writes:

>         I DREAM of having a correctl-done charter-type scroll,

> in scrawly thirteenth-century notary hand, with absolutely no illumination

> or decoration save a pendant wax seal.


Period legal documents were not necessarily text-only. The East Kingdom

standards manual shows a few examples of period legal documents:


        o  A grant of arms to the Worshipful Company of Tallow

           Chandlers, England 1456.  Very large illuminated capital,

           with a fairly wide illuminated border (including the arms)

           down the left side.


        o  Arms scroll, Sigismund of Germany, 1460. Mostly text, with

           decoration around the escutcheon.


        o  Diploma, Jean of France, 1400's.  Large historiated initial.


        o  Petition by the Fugger family of Augsburg to Pope Alexander

           VI ca. 1500.  Large illuminated capital, elaborate border

           (including several escutcheons) on the top and both sides.


        o  Scroll of Emperor Frederick II of Germany, 1270.  Very large

           illuminated capital, a lot of text, and a large seal.


        o  Scroll of Emperor Alexins III Ceanenus, Constantinople, 1200's.

           The text is dwarfed by the painting of one haloed and crowned

           figure handing a scroll to another haloed figure.


Although the depictions in the standards manual are simple line-drawing

representations of the originals, some of them appear to be at least as

elaborate as most of the `book-of-hours scrolls' that Tadhg denigrates

with such enthusiastic bombast.


(No, I'm not defending the fact that many of our scrolls are inauthentic.

Then again, neither are most of our awards!)


>         One real problem with the "surprise" factor is that award recipients

> are never given a chance to perhaps comission a scroll from a talented friend

> who really knows their tastes.


When I lived in the East Kingdom, the Tyger Clerk (who gave scroll

assignments to the scribes) attempted to assign scrolls to scribes who

lived in the same area as the recipient, if possible; scribes could also

request assignments (for example, `If XXX gets an award, I'd like to do

the scroll').


One thing that I was taught was that, if I was assigned a scroll for

someone I didn't know, it was best to call the seneschal of that

person's home group and find out some things about the person (when

and where their persona was from, what colors they liked, &cetera).

That makes for a much more personal scroll.


>         Ah, well, I should talk.  None of my scrolls are colour xerox

> copies with the name written in......


And with any luck, neither will anyone in Trimaris ever receive such

scrolls again!


*sigh*  This is all personal opinion, and should not be construed as

an official statement from the Office of the Trimaris Chart Herald, the

Kingdom of Trimaris, or the Society for Creative Anachronism, Incorporated.


=====   Jeff Lee / jlee at smylex.uucp / jlee%smylex.uucp at tscs.tscs.com   =====

=====      SCA:  Lord Godfrey de Shipbrook, Trimaris Chart Herald      =====

===== Per pale azure and argent, a clarion counterchanged or and gules =====



From: greg at bronze.lcs.mit.edu (Greg Rose)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: scrolls.....

Date: 6 Jul 1993 01:26:00 -0400

Organization: MIT LCS guest machine


Lord Godfrey writes:

>Period legal documents were not necessarily text-only. The East Kingdom

>standards manual shows a few examples of period legal documents:


>        o  A grant of arms to the Worshipful Company of Tallow

>           Chandlers, England 1456.  Very large illuminated capital,

>           with a fairly wide illuminated border (including the arms)

>           down the left side.


Commissioned by the Company from a private artist and not produced in a



>        o  Arms scroll, Sigismund of Germany, 1460. Mostly text, with

>           decoration around the escutcheon.


This is an artist achievement, not a chancery document.


>        o  Diploma, Jean of France, 1400's.  Large historiated initial.


No one ever said that you don't occasionally see an elaborated initial

in some chancery documents.  However, it is almost never of the sort

one associates with book hands and it is _only_ the initial.  Occasionally

one sees enlarged, but not elaborated letters in the first line of a

charter, usually in the second half of a chirograph -- with the cut

through the enlarged letters.


>        o  Petition by the Fugger family of Augsburg to Pope Alexander

>           VI ca. 1500.  Large illuminated capital, elaborate border

>           (including several escutcheons) on the top and both sides.


Again, not a chancery document.


>        o  Scroll of Emperor Frederick II of Germany, 1270.  Very large

>           illuminated capital, a lot of text, and a large seal.


An outlier par excellence -- look at Bresslau's _Handbuch der

Urkundenlehre fuer Deutschland und Italien_ to see the central tendency

of HR Imperial diplomatics.


>        o  Scroll of Emperor Alexins III Ceanenus, Constantinople, 1200's.

>           The text is dwarfed by the painting of one haloed and crowned

>           figure handing a scroll to another haloed figure.


Maybe the document exists, I don't know.  I do know that there was

never a Byzantine emperor by that name.  It's either Alexius II Comnenus

(1167-1883) or Alexius III Angelus (1195-1203), but it isn't Alexins III

Ceanenus.  What "kind" of a scroll -- a diploma, a charter, what?  Was

it chancery-produced or monastic?  


>Although the depictions in the standards manual are simple line-drawing

>representations of the originals, some of them appear to be at least as

>elaborate as most of the `book-of-hours scrolls' that Tadhg denigrates

>with such enthusiastic bombast.


I just posted an introductory bibliography of sources in diplomatics and

facsimiles of notarial/secretarial-hand documents.  Tadhg has also posted

references to such sources (although not that recently). It really chaps

me to have some half-assed SCA publication quoted as evidence that

Tadhg is wrong.  Remember the biblical passage about the blind leading

the blind and both falling into the ditch?  It characterizes a large

percentage of the "information" in SCA publications, particularly things

like the manual you cite.


Read Koch's book on the Holy Roman Imperial chancery in the 12th and

13th centuries and tell me that the East Kingdom standards manual knows

more about the palaeography and diplomatics of HRE documents.  Read

Giry or De Bouard and tell me that that manual knows more about

French chancery practices.


The ability to cite outliers tells you nothing about the central tendency.

By the logic of "it happened once somewhere in the middle ages, it must be

period" the marginal note I once saw in a bible from the Abbey of Lorsch

("Abbas cum Hlothario nefas fecit") implies that every bible produced in

every scriptorium in Europe had some scribe's accusation of the abbot's

sodomy scrawled in the margin.  There's a rules-lawyerly fascination

with the oddity which permeates the SCA's approach to the middle ages

and documentation which I find unfathomable.


>(No, I'm not defending the fact that many of our scrolls are inauthentic.

>Then again, neither are most of our awards!)


The less genteel version of this attitude is: we do some things in a

half-assed way, therefore we should allow everything to be done in

a half-assed way.  I don't buy it.





Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: nusbache at epas.utoronto.ca (Aryk Nusbacher)

Subject: Re: scrolls.....

Organization: University of Toronto - Semi-Employed Alumni

Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1993 12:11:07 GMT


Remember, Greg, that the East Kingdom standards manual was not

designed to give a good, general representation of chancery documents

of the Middle Ages.  It started from the position of an existing

style, the SCA scroll, and worked backwards to include the appropriate

mediaeval documents.


Note the preponderance of commercial documents amongst the works

cited.  Robert S. Lopez would be pleased to see expensive illumination

being paid for by the Fuggers and the Tallow Chandlers instead of by

noblemen.  Proof that money caused Protestantism...


Aryk Nusbacher



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: mittle at watson.ibm.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)

Subject: Re: scrolls.....

Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1993 19:45:59 GMT

Organization: IBM T.J. Watson Research


Greetings from Arval!  Hossein made two comments in his reply to Godfrey

that brought question to my mind:


> >Period legal documents were not necessarily text-only.  The East Kingdom

> >standards manual shows a few examples of period legal documents:

> >

> >        o  A grant of arms to the Worshipful Company of Tallow

> >           Chandlers, England 1456.  Very large illuminated capital,

> >           with a fairly wide illuminated border (including the arms)

> >           down the left side.


> Commissioned by the Company from a private artist and not produced in a

> chancery.


Why should we take chancery documents, as opposed to private documents, as

the models for our scrolls?


> The ability to cite outliers tells you nothing about the central tendency.

> By the logic of "it happened once somewhere in the middle ages, it must be

> period" the marginal note I once saw in a bible from the Abbey of Lorsch

> ("Abbas cum Hlothario nefas fecit") implies that every bible produced in

> every scriptorium in Europe had some scribe's accusation of the abbot's

> sodomy scrawled in the margin.


Come on Hossein, you know that doesn't hold water: There is a difference

between saying "We can take this evidence as the basis for a re-creation"

and "Everything we re-create must follow this model."


> There's a rules-lawyerly fascination with the oddity which permeates the

> SCA's approach to the middle ages and documentation which I find

> unfathomable.


Your comments suggest that you believe (like Tadhg) that SCAfolk ought to

base their re-creative efforts on the norms of the cultures we are

studying.  Do you believe that?  If so, why?  What is wrong with

re-creating oddities?  That approach clearly will not provide a correct

picture of the culture as a whole, but it will still provide a correct

picture of some aspect of that culture.


Arval d'Espas Nord                                   mittle at watson.ibm.com



From: jtn at nutter.cs.vt.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: scrolls.....

Date: 6 Jul 93 22:47:22 GMT


Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.  Arval posted recently on scrolls,

asking Hossein several questions.  Now, I don't talk for Hossein (he and I

do not always agree, and lord knows, he talks well enough for himself).  But

I have a few responses of my own....


Arval asks,


>Why should we take chancery documents, as opposed to private documents, as

>the models for our scrolls?


Because the crowns sign them.  Because the office that prepares them is

appointed by the crown and organized as a kingdom office. Because in some

kingdomes, the herald's office signs them before they go out as witness that

they are official.  All of these are appropriate _only_ if the documents

issue from a chancery.  If they are private documents, the signatures and

seals are out of place, and the heralds do not have even the dimmest and

most distant claim to any interest in them whatsoever. And they are

private business between a recipient and an artisan, and no Clerk of the

Signet (or your kingdom's name for it) has any business with it.


Either they come from the Kingdom or they don't.  If they do, the appropriate

model is documents that came from Crowns in period.  If they don't, then

none of this bureaucracy has any business mucking around in them.


Arval also remarks on Hossein's objection to using outliers as models:


>> The ability to cite outliers tells you nothing about the central tendency.

>> By the logic of "it happened once somewhere in the middle ages, it must be

>> period" the marginal note I once saw in a bible from the Abbey of Lorsch

>> ("Abbas cum Hlothario nefas fecit") implies that every bible produced in

>> every scriptorium in Europe had some scribe's accusation of the abbot's

>> sodomy scrawled in the margin.


>Come on Hossein, you know that doesn't hold water: There is a difference

>between saying "We can take this evidence as the basis for a re-creation"

>and "Everything we re-create must follow this model."


But every model cited in that book is an outlier.  _Only_ outliers are being

provided as models.  What message does that send?


>> There's a rules-lawyerly fascination with the oddity which permeates the

>> SCA's approach to the middle ages and documentation which I find

>> unfathomable.


>Your comments suggest that you believe (like Tadhg) that SCAfolk ought to

>base their re-creative efforts on the norms of the cultures we are

>studying.  Do you believe that?  If so, why?  What is wrong with

>re-creating oddities?  That approach clearly will not provide a correct

>picture of the culture as a whole, but it will still provide a correct

>picture of some aspect of that culture.


Not if the oddity is presented _other_ than as an oddity. It is an accurate

depiction of current US trends if you show a lot of kids, one or two wearing

Mohawks, and those treated as outliers.  It is a radically incorrect picture

of _any_ aspect of our culture -- including those who chose that style -- to

portray it as the central tendency.  If it were the central tendency, they'd

be wearing something else.  That's the point; missing that is missing the



Also, if all you portray is the outliers, you not only misrepresent them, you

miseducate people who are picking up their sense of what is medieval from

what we reproduce.  A huge proportion of the people who come into the SCA

develop their sense of what is, for instance, Norman garb by what people

who call their garb "Norman" wear.  If what they're wearing has as little

to do with Norman garb as, say, Madonna's more far-out get-ups have to do

with current street wear, what we are doing is not only not educational, it's

counter-educational.  That, I think, is a trend worth avoiding.  We may grant

that there's a limit to what good we can do.  Still, we should try to avoid

doing harm.



-- Angharad/Terry



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: mittle at watson.ibm.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)

Subject: Re: scrolls.....

Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1993 20:33:43 GMT

Organization: IBM T.J. Watson Research


Greetings from Arval!


My thanks to Hossein, Angharad, and Godfrey for their thoughts in this

thread.  If I may summarize, we have seen the following facts:


1) The overwhelming majority of medieval charters are not decorated in the

manner of our award scrolls, the design of which is more closely based on

book pages.


2) In particular, chancery documents were rarely decorated in this manner.


3) Nevertheless, there are some charters which were decorated in this

manner.  They are clearly not representative of the central tendency of

medieval diplomata (to use Hossein's words), but they did exist.


I think everyone in this conversation understands these facts, but they are

drawing very different conclusions depending, I believe, on what they are

interested in re-creating.


Hossein and Angharad focus on organizational aspects of SCA scrolls:

Scrolls are documents issued by the Crown and produced by its officers, and

therefore should re-create medieval chancery documents. Chancery

documents, in general, were not decorated like book pages; therefore our

official scrolls should generally not be so decorated. Angharad objected

to the use of exceptional examples as the models for our scrolls:


> _Only_ outliers are being provided as models.  What message does that

> send? ...the oddity is presented _other_ than as an oddity.


Similarly, Hossein asked:


> What does the existence of outliers prove about the central tendency of

> medieval diplomata?


The key point in understanding their position is that they feel that SCA

institutions should be based on the common practices of medieval Europe,

not on exceptional cases.  In effect, they want the institution itself (or

perhaps all scrolls considered together) to be a good re-creation.


Godfrey, on the other hand, appears to focus on a much finer scale.  (I'm

drawing conclusions only from your position in this discussion, Godfrey,

and no doubt exaggerating it for my own rhetorical purposes.  Please allow

me that liberty.)  He finds sufficient satisfaction in the fact that each

scroll, viewed in isolation, is a good re-creation of _some_ period model.

The fact that the model on which it is based is an oddity doesn't bother

him.  The institution doesn't concern him over much; the individual

re-creative efforts are the key to his enjoyment of the SCA.  He wrote:


> I shall also stipulate that they were the exception rather than the rule.

> Nevertheless, they DO exist, which was the entire point of my original

> post.


There is a third view which has not been represented in this discussion,

which focusses at yet a finer level detail.  There may be artisans in the

Society who consider it most important to re-create elements of a work,

without particular interest in the cumulative effect. They are perfectly

happy knowing that the script used on a scroll is an accurate re-creation

of a medieval hand and that the illumination is an accurate re-creation of

some form of medieval illumination; the fact that these two elements could

never have been combined in any medieval document bothers them not a whit.



It is important to realize that Hossein and Anghard on one hand, Godfrey on

the other hand, and my postulated scribes on Cariadoc's third hand, are not

re-creating the same things.  They are re-creating in the same medium but

their aims are quite different, so it should come as no surprise at all

that their priorities clash or that their products are incompatible with

other goals.  An obvious analogue can be found in many of the arguments

that Tadhg and I have had over the heraldic rules for submissions: Our

goals are quite different even though we are working in the same domain, so

it is not the least surprising that we come into conflict over the rules

governing our craft.


I think it is also important to realize that Godfrey's approach is the

predominant one in the Society today.  Very few of us try very hard to make

our institutions re-creative activities in themselves. Most of us are

happy focussing on individual works of re-creation. That's also not

surprising: To make a single artifact a good re-creation, you don't need to

convince anyone that it is worthwhile.  To make an institution be a good

re-creation, you have to convince everyone working in that domain to agree

on the same goal.  That is an unlikely event.  


The scribal arts are one of the most active areas of craftwork in the

Society for several reasons.  First, our award system creates an

essentially unlimited demand for their product.  A product in demand

increases in value; in our case, the value is embodied as esteem and

attractiveness of the craft.  Second, the award system makes scribal

craftwork highly visible.  Some people grouse that scrolls are displayed

once and then disappear forever, but scribal arts is the only craft of

which the product is regularly displayed in court. Visibility creates

further esteem, attracting more people to the craft. Third, scribal work

is a craft which is easy & flexible to practice, but which offers plenty of

room for developing expertise.  It doesn't require a group of people

working together (though it can be so practiced).  It doesn't require a

major investment to get started (though such an investment can be helpful).

It is familiar in the real world and many people bring basic skills with

them into the Society, but there is enormous range for research and

learning.  Fourth, the scroll itself is a relatively small, self-contained

project.  A scribe can go through a dozen scrolls in a year; each one is a

finishing point with all the associated feelings of accomplishment, and

each one is a chance to start anew in a new style, or with new tools, or

simply to put last months mistakes behind you and begin fresh.  All these

reasons for the popularity of the scribal arts naturally lead to a focus on

the individual craftwork rather than the institution as a whole.


Hossein wrote:


> I don't think that a primary focus of SCA artisans ought to be scroll

> production at all.  I think they should make the sorts of things that

> medieval artisans did.


I think that is a bit naive, Hossein.  There is no comparable demand for

other products of scribal craftsmanship, nor could that work be nearly as

visible because it would have little practical purpose in the SCA.  SCA

artisans understandably prefer to make items that can be produced at home

and used at SCA events.  The scroll is the most practical outlet for their

skills and it is in demand.  Until some equally-attractive option presents

itself, it is hard to imagine many scribes turning their attention



Hossein also wrote:


> A lovely hand executing a medieval-like diploma is a beautiful thing.


No doubt, but it is a beauty which is harder to appreciate than the beauty

of an illuminated page.  To appeciate that beauty and to develop the skills

necessary to produce it takes more and harder work; it should come as no

shock that most of our scribes prefer the quicker route to the

highly-appreciated illuminated page.  Some of our most learned craftsmen

have turned to the more-difficult path, but experts are few in any field.


Hossein again:


> The only reason for which I can see making so marginal a part of medieval

> diplomata the _model_ for SCA awards calligraphy is gratification of the

> modern taste for wall-art.  I don't see sacrificing one area of our

> recreation where we _could_ be authentic, and at little cost, to that

> modern taste.


You are making a crucial assumption here: that _we_ are trying to be

authentic.  That is rarely true.  _I_ am trying to be authentic, _you_ are

trying to be authentic, and _Godfrey_ is trying to be authentic, but it is

extraordinarily rare for more than a handful of people to try to be

authentic together.  The standard model of SCA activity is not people

working together to build a single collective re-creation, but people

working separately to build thousands of individual re-creations.  The SCA

certainly has room for both models (and others), and I generally agree that

it would be more fun if we did more collective re-creation.  That's why I'm

helping build the Company of S. Michael and why I like narrow-focus events.

On the other hand, I don't think it should be the predominant model of SCA

activity nor that it should be built into our rules. That's why I'm am

working so hard to relax the regulation of heraldic style in the SCA.



In a note which I received privately, but which I think was posted to the

Rialto too, Hossein wrote:


> I am interested in historical re-creation on a broad scale and because I

> take seriously the SCA's role as an educational organization.  If

> oddities statistically predominate, then one is teaching people about

> medieval oddities, not the middle ages.


Godfrey wrote, not in reply, but remarkably aptly:


> It sounds to me as though you're saying that, because such decorated

> secular documents were not the norm, the artisans of the SCA should not

> strive to make scrolls of beauty; that we should stick to text-only

> documents because MOST of the period examples were so.  ... I think your

> position is ridiculous.


Neither position is ridiculous, they are simply in conflict.  They aim at

different kinds of re-creation.  


Arval d'Espas Nord                                   mittle at watson.ibm.com



From: jtn at nutter.cs.vt.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: scrolls.....

Date: 8 Jul 93 00:35:59 GMT


Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.  Arval says,


>Hossein and Angharad focus on organizational aspects of SCA scrolls:

>Scrolls are documents issued by the Crown and produced by its officers, and

>therefore should re-create medieval chancery documents.  Chancery

>documents, in general, were not decorated like book pages; therefore our

>official scrolls should generally not be so decorated. Angharad objected

>to the use of exceptional examples as the models for our scrolls:


>> _Only_ outliers are being provided as models. What message does that

>> send? ...the oddity is presented _other_ than as an oddity.


{stuff omitted}


>The key point in understanding their position is that they feel that SCA

>institutions should be based on the common practices of medieval Europe,

>not on exceptional cases.  In effect, they want the institution itself (or

>perhaps all scrolls considered together) to be a good re-creation.


This is a good representation of Hossein's position, but I think rather less

accurate of mine.


As a bit of background, I do a little C&I.  I've done some of it as scribal

work, to the tune of a bunch of baronial scroll work, and one for kingdom,

with two more commissioned that I intend to get around to Real Soon Now.

All the scrolls I've done have been {pause for drum roll....} medieval

wall art.  For the relatively simple reason that it's what the people

getting them wanted.  The scroll has almost no SCA life; it spends maybe

10 seconds in court, with people squinting at it from very far away, and

then it goes to live on someone's wall.  Seems to me reasonable to give

them what they want.


But I don't particularly like doing those.  If I were seriously trying to

make this one of the main things I do, I'd want to do very different

subjects.  I'd want to keep more of my work, both to keep track of progress

and to see how various techniques and materials stand up to aging.  And

I'd want something much more medieval at the end.


I'd _rather_ do authentic style chancery scrolls.  They can be just as

beautiful, and I'd learn more doing them.


What I really think is the following.


First, we should get clearer on what the heck these things are, and what

they're for.  I don't mean the awards (well, them too, but that's not

what I'm on about now): I mean the scrolls.  If they are really documentary

evidence from Kingdom of the award, they should look like that.  If they're

really a piece of wall art, we should do that right: we aren't now.


Why?  Well, the right way to do wall art is to let the person who's getting

it have a reasonable level of say of whose work they want, what kind of

thing they want, and so on.  Given the current system, scribes can express

preferences like "I'd like to do So-and-so's X", but the people who get the

thing are not in a position to request a particular scribe.


Scribes are encouraged to talk to the recipient for backlog scrolls, but it

isn't possible for a "surprise" award with a concurrent scroll.  So it also

isn't possible to find out what the recipient wants.


I think we could do a far better job of matching wall art with wall art

possessors if we used the medieval solution: you want a piece of wall art

commemorating something, you go find an artisan and ask them to do it.

This might also alleviate the feelings expressed in past versions of this

thread that scribes are expected to donate everything: they could, e.g.,



This doesn't mean that you get nothing from the Crown. What it ought to

mean, I should think, is that you get a chancery document (_not_ a promissory:

it promises nothing, it rather records the creation) from the Crown, and

then, for your decorative achievement, you go talk to a scribe -- if you

_want_ a decorative achievement.  You may not; some of us would be very

happy simply to frame the chancery document and put _that_ on our walls.


This also encourages _both_ kinds of models: the norm _and_ what was

possible if one wanted something exceptional.  Then, if most of us wind

up with something exceptional, at least (a) we _understand_ that that is

what's going on, and (b) the normal is what is more common _within the

shared part of the recreation_.  I do think that when that can be achieved

without loss, it is a good thing.  And I don't see any loss to this plan.


And, by the way, this gives scribes more work, and higher profile, not

less of either.



-- Angharad/Terry



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: ctallan at epas.utoronto.ca (Cheryl Tallan)

Subject: Re: scrolls.....

Organization: University of Toronto - EPAS

Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1993 21:47:21 GMT


Re: Angharad/Terry's suggestion about giving chancery documents to

award recipients and having them arrange (commision) wall art if they

want it. GREAT! I LOVE IT!



I suspect that there would be a much greater demand for chancery

documents than wall arts. (Everyone with an awards gets a chancery

document, only a small percentage of them will probably commission

wall art). On the other hand, there are MANY MORE scribes capable of

producing wall art than chancery documents. Yes, the secretary hand is

easier to do and faster than fancy book hands (that's why secretaries

used it) but only after you've mastered it. And from experience (and

not only my own) the stiffer, more formal hands are easier to learn.

And as they are much prettier to the modern eye (I like the chancery,

but it was a developed taste), I suspect the greater visual appeal,

combined with the ease of learning, will make the book hands the hands

of choice for most SCA scribes. And if they can get financial

renumeration (or barter) for book hands but are expected to give away

chancery scrolls....


So, I love your idea. I wish it were the way things were done. But the

reality as I see it is that it mismatches supply with demand.






From: jtn at nutter.cs.vt.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: scrolls.....

Date: 9 Jul 93 02:08:13 GMT


Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.  Arval writes,

>     most scribes appear to consider making illuminated pages to be more



I'm not sure that this is really true, or rather, I think it's a product

of selecting initially for scribes who do that.  I know that when I started

making scrolls in barony, and others got interested, virtually everyone

who wanted to get into it was happy to learn calligraphy, but terrified

of illumination.  Most of them asked who else could do illumination for them,

if they did calligraphy.


Not one single beginner asked who would do calligraphy if s/he did the



To this day, a fair number of scrolls are lettered by one artisan and

illuminated by another.  My experience is that there are _many_ more

people intimidated by illumination than by calligraphy, and that making

it clear that scribal work need not involve large amounts of illumination

(I suggested the "one fancy initial, with simple kinds of fanciness"

solution to our beginners) greatly encouraged people to get involved.


>      As long as that is true, and as long as the reception of illuminated

>pages is more enthusiastic, few scribes (and in particular, few novice

>scribes) will want to switch to the perceived "plain" style.  


Actually, I think the "reception" issue is much more strong an influence than

the scribes' preference.  I know that in Atlantia, even though scrolls may

be years coming, people tend to expect lots of color on them when they do

show up.  It is not particularly inviting to do something difficult for

someone if you think the recipient is just as likely to feel cheated on

getting it.


>scribes) will want to switch to the perceived "plain" style.  I think this

>is an excellent example of a problem which is best solved by individual

>action, and it seems that Atlantia is an ideal place to try it: Since most

>awards are not accompanied by a scroll when they are presented, there is a

>natural opening for chancery documents.  


Yes -- but not for private commissioning of a more decorated one.  People

expect a "final scroll" to follow a "promissory"; I don't think there will

be any less resistance here to going to private commission after chancery

document than anywhere else.  It isn't the chancery nature of what you

get at the time that would be the problem, and in that regard, this is a

good place to pilot that idea; but it would still be viewed as a promissory,

and it would still be expected that the current, I think awkward system

would be used to produce it.


BTW, absolutely none of this should be taken as criticism either of the

scribes of Atlantia or of any of the recent Clerks of the Signet, who are

doing a lot of very hard work at a pretty thankless job. My problem is

with the system, not with the people struggling to make it work.



-- Angharad/Terry



From: Tim at f4229.n124.z1.fidonet.org (Tim)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: scrolls.....

Date: Thu, 08 Jul 1993 19:54:50


SC>      I DREAM of having a correctl-done charter-type scroll,

SC> in scrawly thirteenth-century notary hand, with absolutely no illumination

SC> or decoration save a pendant wax seal.  If it could be a chirograph,

SC> (which means a document written out twice on a piece of parchment, then

SC> torn down the centre between the two bodies of text), I would absolutely



Ahem ... "chierograph" merely means that it's written by hand. The word

you appear to be looking for is "indenture" - and they were more commonly

cut than torn. But a noble ambition, nevertheless.


Come to Ansteorra, where Zodiacus Herald specializes in such documents....


    Tadhg, Hanaper

    ocitor!tim.4229 at rwsys.lonestar.org



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: ctallan at epas.utoronto.ca (Cheryl Tallan)

Subject: secretary hands

Organization: University of Toronto - EPAS

Date: Sun, 4 Jul 1993 05:40:59 GMT


Twcs writes that they have prepared a number of exemplars from scratch

of secretary hands because calligraphy books don't cover them.


Calligraphy books may not, but paleography books do and provide lots

of examples (even if they don't show, stroke by stroke, how the

letters are formed). A couple of examples sitting on my bookshelf:


_The Handwriting of English Documents_ by L.C.Hector (London: Edward

Arnold) Great book. Also includes sections on the equipment of the

writer, abbreviations,numerals, punctuation, errors and their

correction, etc.


_English Cursive Book Hands 1250-1500_ by M.B.Parkes (Oxford:

Clarendon Press) 1969


_English Vernacular Hands: from the twelfth to the fifteenth

centuries_ by C.E.Wright (Oxford: Clarendon Press) 1960


There are many more.


Note, not all of these include exclusively secretary hands, some

include the hands use for works of literature as well.


David Tallan (who doesn't see why some basic paleography is not

included as training for court heralds and who, as Thomas Grozier, is

surprised at how much trouble heralds have reading scrolls considering

how much more neat and even they are than what his secretary writes).



From: palmer at cis.ohio-state.edu (sharon ann palmer)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: secretary hands

Date: 7 Jul 1993 00:19:22 -0400

Organization: The Ohio State University Dept. of Computer and Info. Science


In article <1993Jul4.054059.13490 at epas.toronto.edu> ctallan at epas.utoronto.ca (Cheryl Tallan) writes:

>Twcs writes that they have prepared a number of exemplars from scratch

>of secretary hands because calligraphy books don't cover them.


>Calligraphy books may not, but paleography books do and provide lots


I am not a scribe, and cannot really evaluate it's usefulness, but a while

back I bought a remaindered book that contains reproductions of documents

in secretary hand.  It shows most cropped to only show the text, not

the entire page, and I believe they are reduced.  They are dated

1400-1588.  Most are letters and inventories, but pl. 3 A Deed Conveying

Land, pl. 4 Henry VIII Warrant may be of interest.


Elizabethan Handwriting, Giles Dawson, Laetitia Kennedy-Skipton,

Phillimore, 1981 (first published Faber & Faber, 1968)


(The jacket says) This is the classic exposition of the Secretary

hand and the most useful, practical handbook ever written for those

who need to transcribe documents of the period.  ... More than

50 carefully chosen representative examples are provided, in

chronological order, each faced with a transcription.



Sharon Palmer         palmer at cis.ohio-state.edu



From: greg at bronze.lcs.mit.edu (Greg Rose)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Scrolls

Date: 5 Jul 1993 17:41:06 -0400

Organization: MIT LCS guest machine


Iain writes:


>  I don't suppose some kind soul could post references for where new scribal

>  types interested in authenticity more than Books of Hours pages can find

>  examples of period "Award of Arms"-type 'scrolls'?


Try the following:

      1.  Telnet (or otherwise network) into the on-line catalog of

a major research library (Harvard is probably closest for Iain).

      2.  Conduct a subject search on the following categories:

            a. Palaeography (or Paleography);

            b. Charters;

            c. Diplomatics.

      3.  Enjoy.


There are some standard works on diplomatics (the study of the formats,

formulae and production of legal documents); you will want to look at

these, trust me, unless you want to try to reinvent the wheel while

puzzling out what the texts of facsimiles of documents mean:


H. Bresslau, _Handbuch der Urkundenlehre fuer Deutschland und Italien_

      (Leipzig, 1912, 1931).  2 vols.

M. Giry, _Manuel de diplomatique_ (Paris, 1925). 2 vols.

A. De Bouard, _Manuel de diplomatique francaise et pontificale_ (Paris,

      1929, 1948). 2 vols.

H.A. Hall, _A Formula Book of English Official Historical Documents_

      (Cambridge, 1908, 1909).  2 vols.


For the early medieval period, A. Bruckner and R. Marichal's _Chartae

Latinae Antiquiores_ series [Olten-Lausanne, 1954-67; Zurich, 1975-],

13 vols., is invaluable, as is E.A. Lowe's _Codices Latini Antiquiores_

series (Oxford, 1934-72), 12 vols.  These are facsimiles of every

extant latin charter (Bruckner and Marichal) and latin codex (Lowe)

prior to AD 800, and Lowe's introduction to vol. 2 (which covers

Great Britain and Ireland) is the best thing ever written on early

English and Irish palaeography.  The _Manuscrits dates_ series, edited

by members of the Comite international de paleographie, claims to provide

facsimiles of every extant latin document, codex or fragment, from

AD 800-1600 in collections in Austria, Belgium, France, Great Britain,

Holland, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland.  The coverage isn't as broad as is

claimed (the majority of documents from AD 800-1600 have never been

cataloged, much less published), but at 20+ volumes it isn't shabby.


For a bibliography of much of the literature on palaeography and related

fields, see Fr. Leonard Boyle's _Medieval Latin Palaeography: A

Bibliographic Introduction_ (Toronto, 1984) and the bibliography in

Bernard Bischoff's _Latin Palaeography_ (Cambridge, 1990), although

both of these bibliographies are stronger on book hands than secretarial/

notarial hands.


>  -Iain, possessed of 'Satiable Curiousity despite his being spread too thin

>   already...


You're spread too thin?  I just did the Sutton Hoo Biblio for you, and

now you want palaeography/diplomatics ?!? :-)  Some people are never

satisfied :-).  Maybe in a few months when I have a spare moment...


And don't call me a "kind soul" -- everyone on this net knows I'm a

curmudgeonly old bastard.





From: greg at bronze.lcs.mit.edu (Greg Rose)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Scrolls and Medieval Exemplars

Date: 6 Jul 1993 21:26:44 -0400

Organization: MIT LCS guest machine


Unto the good gentles of the Rialto does Hossein Ali Qomi send

greetings and prayers for the blessings of Allah.


I suppose that one way to boost my productivity is to really piss me

off.  My irritation at the discussion of SCA scrolls and medieval

exemplars has been rising and it has reached the point where I'm in

"put up or shut up" mode.  Since I've made it clear how dissatisfied

I am with the non-medieval, non-diplomatic paradigms around which SCA

documents are created, I suppose that it is incumbent on me to

suggest other paradigms and point interested parties in their



The following is a brief bibliography of works on medieval English,

Irish, Welsh, and Scottish diplomata (charters and other official

documents in either Latin or English),including diplomatics,

palaeographic studies, manuals of palaeography and facsimile

editions.  In the section on diplomatics a few works pertaining to

non-English documents are cited, because of the influence of

continental models on the development of English diplomata.  This

is in no fashion an exhaustive bibliography; it is simply the

product of an afternoon's thought, the sort of thing I'd give, for

example, to one of my students who expressed an interest in doing

some aspect of the palaeography and diplomatics of medieval English

diplomata as a senior thesis or preparing for Master's quals.  It

also doesn't cite the quite extensive journal literature.


I shall try in a few weeks (perhaps as late as after Pennsic) to post

a similar bibliography for medieval continental diplomata.


Please, as with the Sutton Hoo Bibliography, do not reprint or

circulate this bibliography without prior permission from the author

(permission can be obtained by email from greg at bronze.lcs.mit.edu).









                  By Gregory F. Rose


                 c1993, all rights reserved





T.A.M. Bishop.  _English Caroline Miniscule_.  Oxford, 1971.

A. De Bouard.  _Manuel de diplomatique francaise et pontificale_.  2

      vols. 4 pts.  Paris, 1925-52.

H. Bresslau.  _Handbuch der Urkundenlehre fuer Deutschland und Italien_.

      2 vols.  2nd ed.  Leipzig, 1931.

P. Chaplais.  _English Medieval Diplomatic Practice_.  2 vols.

      London, 1975.  [AD 1197-1474]

N. Denholm-Young.  _Handwriting in England and Wales_. Cardiff,


A. Giry.  _Manuel de diplomatique_.  Paris, 1893 (reprinted, 1925).

H.A. Hall.  _A Formula Book of English Official Historical Documents_.

      2 vols.  Cambridge, 1908-09.

L.C. Hector.  _The Handwriting of English Documents_. London, 1966.

C Johnson and H. Jenkinson.  _English Court Hand, AD 1066 to 1500_.

      2 vols.  Oxford, 1915 (reprinted, NY, 1967).

W. Keller.  _Angelsaechsische Palaeographie_.  2 vols.

      Berlin/Leipzig, 1906; reprinted, NY, 1970-71.

S. Keynes.  _The Diplomas of Aethelred 'The Unready' (978-1016): A

      Study in Their Use as Historical Evidence_.  Cambridge, 1980.

W.M. Lindsay.  _Early Welsh Script_.  Oxford, 1912.

E.A. Lowe.  _English Uncial_.  Oxford, 1960.

K.C. Newton.  _Medieval Local Records: A Reading Aid_. London, 1971.

M. Prou.  _Manuel de paleographie latine et francaise du VIe au XVIIe

      siecle_.  4th ed.  Paris, 1924.

A. Rycraft.  _English Medieval Handwriting_.  New York, 1973. [AD


G.G. Simpson.  _Scottish Handwriting, 1150-1650: An Introduction to

      the Reading of Documents_. Ediburgh, 1973.

G. Tessier.  _Diplomatique royale francaise_.  Paris, 1962.




L.R. Dean.  _An Index to Facsimiles in the Palaeography Society

      Publications_.  Princeton, 1914.  [index to the Bond and Thompson,

      1873-94, and the Thompson, et al., 1903-30 vols. below]

E.A. Bond and E.M. Thompson, eds.  _Facsimiles of Manuscripts and

      Inscriptions_.  2 series. 4 vols.  London, 1873-94, with indices,

      1901.  [600 BC to AD 1500]

N.R. Ker.  _Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon_. Oxford,


E.M. Thompson, et al., eds.  _Facsimiles of Ancient Manuscripts_.  2

      series.  4 vols.  London, 1903-30.  [400 BC to AD 1535]

A.G. Watson, ed.  _Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c. 700-

      1600 in the Department of Manuscripts, the British Library_.  2

      pts. London, 1979.




T.A.M. Bishop and P. Chaplais.  _Facsimiles of English Royal Writs to

      AD 1100_.  Oxford, 1957.

E.A. Bond, ed.  _Facsimiles of Ancient Charters in the British

      Museum_. 4 vols.  London, 1873-78. [AD 624-1023]

A. Bruckner and R. Marichal, eds.  _Chartae Latinae Antiquiores_.

      Olten/Lausanne, 1954-67. Vols. III (British Museum London) and IV

      (Great Britain Without British Museum).  [pre-AD 900]

J.T. Gilbert, ed.  _Facsimiles of National Manuscripts of Ireland_.

      Vol. I (AD 600-1150). Dublin, 1874.

S. Keynes, ed.  _Facsimiles of Anglo-Saxon Charters_. Oxford, 1991.

E.A. Lowe, ed.  _Codices Latini Antiquiores_.  Oxford, 1934-72.  Vol.

      II (Great Britain and Ireland, 2nd ed., 1972). [pre-AD 900]

W.B. Sanders, ed.  _Facsimiles of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts_. 3 vols.

      Southampton, 1867-72.




P. Chaplais.  _English Royal Documents: King John - Henry IV, 1199-

      1461_.  Oxford, 1971.

L. Delisle.  _Recueil des actes de Henri II roi d'Angleterre et duc

      de Normanndie concernant les provinces francaises et les affaires

      de France: Atlas_.  Paris, 1909.

J.T. Gilbert, ed.  _Facsimiles of National Manuscripts of Ireland_.

      Vols. II (AD 1150-1300) and III (AD 1300-1550).  London, 1878-


H.E.P. Grieve.  _Examples of English Handwriting, 1150-1750_.

      Chelmsford, 1959.

R.B. Patterson.  _Earldom of Gloucester Charters: The Charters and

      Scribes of the Earls and Countesses of Gloucester to AD 1217_.

      Oxford, 1973.

H.E. Salter.  _Facsimiles of Early Charters in the Oxford Muniment

      Rooms_.  Oxford, 1929. [AD 1097-1251]

W.B. Sanders, ed.  _Facsimiles of National Manuscripts from William

      the Conqueror to Queen Anne_.  4 vols.  Southampton, 1865-68.

G.F. Warner and H.J. Ellis.  _Facsimiles of Royal and Other Charters

      in the British Museum: William I - Richard I_.  London, 1903.  [AD





G.E. Dawson and L. Kennedy-Skipton.  _Elizabethan Handwriting, 1500-

      1650_.  London/New York, 1966.

A.J. Fairbank and B. Dickens.  _The Italic Hand in Tudor Cambridge_.

      London, 1962.

J.T. Gilbert, ed.  _Facsimiles of National Manuscripts of Ireland_.

      Vol. IV.1 (AD 1550-1600). London, 1882.

H. Jenkinson.  _The Later Court ahnds in ENglish from the 15th to the

      17th Century_.  2 vols. Cambridge, 1927 (reprinted, New York,


C.B. Judge.  _Specimens of Sixteenth-Century English Handwriting_.

      Cambridge, Mass., 1935.

A. Rycraft.  _Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Handwriting_.  2

      series.  York, 1972.

J.I. Whalley.  _English Handwriting, 1540-1853: An Illustrated

      Survey_.  London, 1969.



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: cctimar at athena.cas.vanderbilt.edu (Charles the clerk)

Subject: Re: Surprise! Surprise!

Organization: Shire of Glaedenfeld

Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1993 13:30:16 GMT


To all upon the Rialto doth Charles the clerk send his greetings!


I wrote:

>                                If one is not accepting the award, it

> should be sufficient to strike out the name, leaving the rest of the

> illumination to return to the scribe.  The Crown may also wish to cut

> off the part with the royal seals.


I just checked Hector's book on English documents, and he does mention

this as a possible way to delete a passage of a document. It seems

that striking out one passage was not considered to void the document



He lists two methods for doing this.  When it is part of a longer

scroll, or a bound book, completely cover the whole document with a

lattice of crossed diagonal lines, and write "VACAT" in the margin.

This makes the document useless to the scribe, however.


A more useful idea is to fold the page in half and make a series of

cuts at a 45 degree angle into the fold.  When the page is unfolded

again, it will be marked with a row of herring-bone cuts across the

middle, which was evidently recognized as voiding the document.  The

royal seals also were cut off.


This approach seems to be perfect for the purpose, although the victim

of the award may still want their name struck out first. It not only

accomplishes the desired task - voiding the award, while leaving most

of the calligraphy and illumination intact to return to the scribe or

illuminator - but it is a medieval method for accomplishing this that

is no longer used today (so it has a "medieval feel" to it).


    -- Charles, student, in Glaedenfeld, Meridies



From: willektk at ucbeh.san.uc.edu

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Surprise! Surprise!

Date: 9 Jul 93 04:24:11 EDT

Organization: Univ of Cincinnati Academic IT Services


> Tadhg, quoting Lothar:

>> L> The king TORE UP the scroll!!!! Shame on him. He should have TW>

>> L> quietly put it aside and given it back to the scribe/calligrapher that

>> L> made it. God knows they keep little enough of their own work.

>> *sigh* A "scroll" granting an award, once it has been validated (signed or

>> sealed or whatever An Tir uses) is a LEGAL DOCUMENT within the SCA; in

>> order for its effect to be nullified, it must be invalidated. He could

>> have written "VOID" across it and signed it, but I suspect that a scribe

>> would not have been happy with that, either.


> How 'bout peeling off the royal and herald's seals? That oughta do it

> without seriously compromising the aesthetic aspects of the document.

> (Yes, I know some kingdoms use a rubber-stamp instead of a wax seal.

> All I can say to that is, they oughtn't.)


Well, I have seen period examples of nullified documents and that was done in a

simple way, cut off the seals (seals were ussually hung from the bottom of the

scroll, not stamped on as we do so) and then the document itself slashed with a

knife a few times....  Very simple and effective because all signs of legalness

about it were thereby removed and noone could prove that it was a Legal

document anymore <grin>



By the way, concerning  the seals on scrolls,  a suggestion as how to do them

more period.  When a scroll was finished, the scrib would then roll up any

extra  parchment, put some small slits above them, pass a ribbon through the

slits and made a it so that the roll stayed tight, and then put the seal on the

ribbons (the ribbons were embedded in the  seal).  The logic behind this is

simple.  Because there is  now no extra blank parchment, nothing else can be

added to the document without first breaking the seals. You can imagine the

danger of leaving blank space at the bottom on a scroll which has been signed

and sealed.  Any dishonest person could then add a few more terms to the treaty

or whatever, and with the seals already there, there would be no way of

disproving it......


      Lord Vytas



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: moore at mari.acc.stolaf.edu (Michael Moore/Peregrine the Illuminator)

Subject: Wax Seals

Organization: Baronial Colleges of Nordleigh, SCA

Date: Fri, 9 Jul 1993 17:11:40 GMT


Sigh... make a suggestion...


I have been charged with creating a document with a wax seal, so that

the Stallari of the new Principality of the Middle Kingdom can find out

how it works, if it works, how long it stands up to general use, etc.


I have some information: the book "The Romance of Seals and Engraved

Gems" by Beth Benton Sutherland (Macmillan, N.Y., 1965: Lib. of Cong.

65-10403) shows me various seals and seal rings, and "The Oxford Illustrated

History of England" shows specific documents with seals.


Some people have commented that their kingdoms use wax seals on documents.

_Please_ (as I kneel and plead) could you send me your suggestions, comments,

_Recipes for good wax_, or anything else you can?  If someone is an expert,

but does not read the Rialto, can you send me their name/address/etc.?


As it stands, the concept of a slit through the parchment, with a ribbon/

thong through it, with the sealing wax surrounding the two ends of the ribbon,

seems the best idea.  


I would love to have more information!

Especially to make things just that much more authentic. Rubber stamps

on period recreations just doesn't make the grade.


I Thank You, and the new Principality Thanks You.


Sincerely, Peregrine the Illuminator

(moore at stolaf.edu)

Michael Moore

1004 S. Union, Northfield MN  55057

(507) 646-3796




From: Tim at f4229.n124.z1.fidonet.org (Tim)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Wax Seals

Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1993 08:05:39


P> _Please_ (as I kneel and plead) could you send me your

P> suggestions, comments, _Recipes for good wax_, or anything else

P> you can?


Recipe for sealing wax? You can buy good sealing wax commercially;

Dennison #2 is pretty good.


P> As it stands, the concept of a slit through the parchment, with a

P> ribbon/ thong through it, with the sealing wax surrounding the two ends

P> of the ribbon, seems the best idea.


Don't use ribbon, use braided silk or leather cords. Roll up the bottom

edge of the parchment, punch holes through all the layers, and thread the

cord through that. Lay the cord across the reverse matrix, cover with wax,

and stamp with the obverse so that the cord is imbedded in the seal.


    Tadhg, Hanaper

    ocitor!tim.4229 at rwsys.lonestar.org


From: priest at vaxsar.vassar.edu (Carolyn Priest-Dorman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Woven Seal Tags (was:  Re: Wax Seals)

Date: 14 Jul 93 08:21:27 +1000


Unto the Fishyfolk of the Rialto, greeting from Thora Sharptooth!


Here's a subject dear to my heart--something nifty, period, and different to do

with weaving tablets.  Tadgh wrote:


> P> As it stands, the concept of a slit through the parchment, with a

> P> ribbon/ thong through it, with the sealing wax surrounding the two ends

> P> of the ribbon, seems the best idea.


> Don't use ribbon, use braided silk or leather cords. Roll up the bottom

> edge of the parchment, punch holes through all the layers, and thread the

> cord through that. Lay the cord across the reverse matrix, cover with wax,

> and stamp with the obverse so that the cord is imbedded in the seal.


Another possible material for seal tags is tablet-woven silk.  Intact silk seal

tags from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries display a wide range of color,

patterning, and intricacy.  I made one once, out of size A sewing silk; it's a

ribbon about a centimeter wide, charged with the badge of the Order of the

Manche.  Master Anton is saving it for a special Manche scroll.


Carolyn Priest-Dorman             Thora Sharptooth

Poughkeepsie, NY                 Frosted Hills ("where's that?")

priest at vassar.edu             East Kingdom

              Gules, three square weaver's tablets in bend Or




From: Tim at f4229.n124.z1.fidonet.org (Tim)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Scrolls

Date: Fri, 09 Jul 1993 01:21:47


Iain Odlin wrote:

> I don't suppose some kind soul could post references for where new

> scribal types interested in authenticity more than Books of Hours pages

> can find examples of period "Award of Arms"-type 'scrolls'?


Hubert Hall, *Studies in English Historical Documents*

"      "   , *Formula Book of English Historical Documents*

Pierre Chaplais, *English Royal Documents King John--Henry VI 1199-1461*

Arthur Giry, *Manuel de Diplomatique*

Georges Tessier, *Diplomatique Royale Francais*

Harry Bresslau, *Handbuch der Urkundenlehre fuer Deutschland und Italien*

Ludwig Rockinger, *Ueber Formelbuecher vom XII bis zum XVI Jahrhunderts

                    als rechtsgeschichtliche Quellen*

"      "        , *Ueber Briefsteller und Formelbucher in Deutschland

                    waehrend des Mittelalters*

Cesare Paoli, *Diplomatica*


These are the ones I can think of offhand; no doubt there are more recent

works that someone whose academic access is more current than mine could

dig up for us....


    Tadhg, Hanaper

    ocitor!tim.4229 at rwsys.lonestar.org



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: cav at bnr.ca (Rick Cavasin)

Subject: Re: A question on scrolls

Organization: Bell-Northern Research Ltd.

Date: Thu, 15 Jul 93 13:16:09 GMT


Greetings unto the folk of the Rialto from Balderik.


Balin asks about semi-transparent Vellum.


Although I've been learning to make vellum, I'm by no

means an expert in it's use (disclaimer).


I believe that the opacity of a vellum would be an indication

of it's quality.  Transparency = poor quality, at least in a

manuscript context - some bookbinding vellums are semi-transparent.  

I don't think

you *want* to see what's written on the other side.

On the other hand, when making books, you want the leaves as

thin as possible to reduce the bulk of the finished book.

Some of the vellums used in books were almost as thin as

onion-skin paper (I was once allowed to handle a 13th century

bible like this - talk about a humbling experience).

With such thin vellums, a certain degree of translucency is

unavoidable.  The thinnest vellums I've made would probably

not show through noticeably unless backlighted (in which case

they show through quite nicely).


I wonder if the 'show through' you see in manuscript photographs

is an artifact of the photographic process.  It could be that

under normal lighting, there would be no 'show through' on the

manuscripts in question.


My suggestion would be to visit rare book collections at university

libraries and try to examine as many different pieces of medieval vellum as

you can.  When you get a feel for what the vellum you want looks like,

contact suppliers like 'The Bookbinder's Warehouse' (sorry, don't have

the address handy - think they're in New Jersey) and ask for a sample

pack.  Hopefully, somebody, somewhere makes a vellum you like.

Keep in mind that vellum is very expensive compared to paper.


If you contact me in a few weeks (going away for a bit), I can send

you some addresses of vellum makers around the world. Some should

be willing to send samples. I can send samples of mine for what it's



Cheers, Balderik  (don't buy or use the stuff myself)



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: jliedl at nickel.laurentian.ca

Subject: Re: A question on scrolls

Organization: Laurentian University

Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1993 18:25:45 GMT


In article <1993Jul15.131609.265 at bmerh85.bnr.ca>, cav at bnr.ca (Rick Cavasin) writes:

Master Balderick scribed:


> I believe that the opacity of a vellum would be an indication

> of it's quality.  Transparency = poor quality, at least in a

> manuscript context - some bookbinding vellums are semi-transparent.  


. . . some deletions . . .


> I wonder if the 'show through' you see in manuscript photographs

> is an artifact of the photographic process.  It could be that

> under normal lighting, there would be no 'show through' on the

> manuscripts in question.


I concur with Balderick on this one:  I've worked with a lot of late

medieval and early modern vellum and paper, _and_ on the microfilms of

the same.  It is my experience that the stronger lighting required to

get a clear, sharp image washes out the paper and shows exaggerated

bleed-through.  While fine paper & vellum have some transparency in

any case, photography greatly exaggerates it.  (Having compare a microfilm

sidy-by-side with the real thing, I can guarantee it!)


Ancarett Nankivellis

Janice Liedl

Laurentian University, Canada




From: Tim at f4229.n124.z1.fidonet.org (Tim)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Proof of Awards & Scrolls: A Problem

Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1993 18:47:38


TA> Hmmm... You know, a Kingdom passport sounds intriguing.  Were passports

TA> period, or are the exclusively modern?


Similar documents were done in period. During my tenure as Star Principal

Herald I had several occasions to issue passports to people travelling or

moving out of Kingdom; we have a fairly standardized formula for such

things. Below is the text of the one that I issued to Baron Master Robin

of Gilwell when he went up to the Midrealm to demonstrate Ansteorran

light-weapons fighting:




Fra Tadhg Liath of Duncairn Star Principal Herald of Ams to all unto whom

these presents shall have come giveth greeting.


KNOW YE that the bearer of these letters ROBIN OF GILWELL Lion of

Ansteorra Master of the Order of the Pelican Baron of the Court of

Ansteorra Companion of the Order of the White Scarf of Ansteorra Companion

of the Order of the Star of Merit of Ansteorra Companion of the Order of

the Iris of Merit of Ansteorra Companion of the Order of the Oak of the

Steppes upon whom has been conferred the Award of the Sable Thistle of

Ansteorra in the field of Bardcraft and upon whom has been conferred the

Award of the Sable Falcons of Ansteorra sometime Baron of the Steppes and

sometime Queen's Champion to Her late Majesty Sieglinde II of blessed

memory upon whom has been conferred the Queen's Gauntlet of Ansteorra by

Her late Majesty Sieglinde II of blessed memory as aforesaid is a lawfully

warranted Officer of Arms of the Kingdom of Ansteorra bearing the title

RAPIER HERALD being of the rank of Herald in the Ansteorran College of

Heralds and a member of the Militant Arm thereof


WHEREFORE do we pray that all and singular of whatever estate or degree

unto whom he shall have come shall freely honestly and liberally render

unto him all due honor and precedence and such assistance succour and

comfort as shall be meet and according to his station and the esteem and

affection in which he is held by our dread sovereign lords Rowan and

Hector by right of arms Queen and King of Ansteorra in whose service he

does labor.


                Tadhg, Star


Data per manum meam apud Baroniam Gradium ii die Julii regno tertio

Rowanis et Hectoris anno Societatis xxvi et anno Domini mxmi.




Such things can add a little flavor to the soup.


    Tadhg, Hanaper

    ocitor!tim.4229 at rwsys.lonestar.org



From: dmb at waynesworld.ucsd.edu (Doug Brownell)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Calligraphy

Date: 24 Aug 1993 00:26:05 GMT

Organization: University of California, San Diego


Greetings unto the Rialto and unto Joakim Ruud from Thomas

Brownwell in Calafia, Caid.


The standard book on Calligraphy that I use as a starting

point is Marc Drogin's Medieval Calligraphy, publisheed by

Dover press, about $10.  It is in print, and may even be at

your local bookstore.  Marc outlines 10 basic hands, and

gives *tons* of photographs of documents in enough detail to

get all the interesting bits from the hands and their



If you want to do some library hunting, the subject 'calligraphy'

is usually useless (as you've found out).  Try the category

'paleography' or 'palaeography;, the study of 'old writing'.

Paleography studies everything from the development of our Latin

alphabet from the Phoenecians and the Greeks, to the use of

abbreviations in 13'th C English hands.  I have found some very

interesting books (I was looking for information on abbreviations

in Latin, and found some wonderful examples, plus a book that

outlined *all* the common ones).  A current volume that is in print

is by Bischoff, Cambridge press (took 2 months to get, but was only

$25), titled Latin Paleography.


Good searchings unto you.


Thomas Brownwell, calligrapher, herald, dancer,...

dmb at waynesworld.ucsd.edu



From: salley at niktow.canisius.edu (David Salley)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Tips Wanted

Date: 19 Nov 93 13:29:09 GMT

Organization: Canisius College, Buffalo NY. 14208


Caitrin Gordon, Barony of Delftwood, Principality of Aethelmearc

aka (Barbara C. French) writes:

>  2. Arts

>     Calligraphy and illumination:

>     For repeating borders, such as knotwork, you can save time and increase

>     precision by drawing one section of the border and using a light table

>     or a window to trace subsequent sections of the border (this isn't

>     cheating -- you drew it once!).


Rhydderich Hael Calligraphers' Guild version:

      Draw your knot, Celtic beast, whathaveyou, once.  Cover with tracing

paper and trace.  Place the tracing paper onto a scrap piece of plain white

paper WITH THE PENCIL DRAWN SIDE DOWN.  Go over the outline of the mirror

image figure with a pencil.  Place the tracing paper back on the scroll

original side up.  Position your tracing where you want it.  Go over the

outline again with a pencil.  The pressure of the pencil on top will push

enough graphite from the bottom of the tracing paper onto the scroll to

form a light pencil drawing of the original figure.  You don't need an

expensive light table, you don't need to draw vertically against a window,

and best of all, by turning the tracing back over, you can get mirror images

as well as exact copies.  Have fun!

                                                       - Dagonell


SCA Persona : Lord Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake, CSC, CK, CTr

Habitat          : East Kingdom, AEthelmearc Principality, Rhydderich Hael Barony

Internet    : salley at niktow.cs.canisius.edu

USnail-net  : David P. Salley, 136 Shepard Street, Buffalo, New York 14212-2029



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: bcfrench at mothra.syr.edu (Barbara C. French)

Subject: Re: Illumination

Organization: Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Date: Sat, 4 Dec 93 19:59:40 EST


WISH at uriacc.uri.EDU (Peter Rose) writes:

>I'm playing at doing some illumunation, using a metal quill-type pen,

>and using regular artists oil paint thinned with turpentine as pigment,

>and I'm having trouble getting consistant coverage.   Sometimes I get

>Thin runny color, and sometimes I get dark sludge, that won't feed

>off the pen.  Am I using completely the wrong materials, or am I just

>not mixing the turpentine in aggressively enough.   *SHOULD* this work?


Switch to tube watercolors or goache. Oil paints are a poor choice for

working on paper. Oils are meant for canvas, not paper. Plus, you will get

"haloing" around oil pigments.


Watercolors and goache are more "period". The real scribes used various

types of temperas.


I'm not sure what you're saying . . . Are you using the pens to do the

illumination? Most scribes paint the illumination using brushes, and do

the calligraphy with pens. There are good water-based inks to use in quill

pens (personally, I use a Rotring fountain pen . . . I prefer a fountain

pen because there are fewer factors I need to control).


Likewise, oil-based inks are not a good choice for paper because the ink

will halo. This means that you will get a shiny, rainbow-colored oil slick

around your work, kind of like what happens when you spill ink on a puddle

of water.


What I have used for the past seven years for calligraphy and illumination:


Rotring fountain pen, size 1.9, with Rotring ink cartridges

Tube watercolors and gouache, usually Grumbacher and Windsor-Newton

Fine black disposable graphics pens for outlining


You will probably found a great deal more success with more appropriate




Caitrin Gordon, Delftwood, Aethelmearc



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: kharding at lamar.ColoState.EDU (Karol Harding)

Subject: Re: Illumination

Date: Mon, 06 Dec 1993 17:23:31 GMT

Organization: Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523




Actually, what we usually do (which Pendragon recommends) is to

put a bit of gum arabic with watercolors and put it on your dip

pen.  works great. Mix to the consistency of thin cream, thick

enough to work and thin enough to flow.


The other advantage is that this technique enables you to have

red colors that are reasonably colorfast, and don't "feather"

like a lot of red inks.


We have begun teaching new scribes and are forbidding them to

use cartridge pens for this reason; the flexibility of what you

can use for "ink" as well as the joy of pressure point calligraphy.



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: bcfrench at mothra.syr.edu (Barbara C. French)

Subject: Re: Illumination

Organization: Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Date: Tue, 7 Dec 93 10:08:14 EST


In article <Dec06.172331.53592 at yuma.ACNS.ColoState.EDU> kharding at lamar.ColoState.EDU (Karol Harding) writes:


>The other advantage is that this technique enables you to have

>red colors that are reasonably colorfast, and don't "feather"

>like a lot of red inks.


It depends on the ink, but I agree: many red inks either feather or look

kind of pinky. I don't use red ink much (I just paint the reds I need).


One of the problems with red paint is that it can get pretty streaky. If

you mix just a touch of white paint in it (just enough to cover the tip of

a small brush) you can almost completely eliminate streaking. You don't

have to use enough white to change the color.


>We have begun teaching new scribes and are forbidding them to

>use cartridge pens for this reason; the flexibility of what you

>can use for "ink" as well as the joy of pressure point calligraphy.


Here's where I disagree. I have used a cartridge pen for years for

calligraphy. I strongly believe there is more than one way to do

illumination, and scribes ought to be given the flexibility to discover

what works best for them. Personally, I cannot use dip pens; I am a scribe

with arthritic hands (arthritic thumb -- a curse for someone who's only

26!) and get horrid cramps from the position of holding a pen. I do not

have so much problem with a brush. The cartridge pen allows me to work

faster, get more calligraphy done and eliminates a lot of problems (such

as ink vomiting all over your page). I use a very high-quality cartridge

pen, a Rotring Art Pen (used by a large portion of scribes I know,

including several Laurels).


I think it's good to expose new scribes to a way you think is good, but as

to "forbidding" them to use a different style of working -- I am not sure

what I think of that. I also think it's good to show scribes different

ways of working. What works best for you is not necessarily what works

best for everyone.



Caitrin Gordon, Delftwood, Aethelmearc



From: jab2 at stl.stc.co.uk (Jennifer Ann Bray)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Period Black Ink/Dye

Date: 8 Mar 94 15:43:41

Organization: STC Technology Ltd., London Road, Harlow, UK.


Mistress Gwennis passed me a recipe for black ink which I tried out

last weekend at a craft session. It worked so well I thought someone

else out there might like to try it. She got the recipe from a Dover

translation of a medieval text by Cenini (sp?)


We took a cup of oak galls and a cup of water, then added a teaspoon

of iron salts (ferrous sulphate). To make writing ink add a few

spoonfulls of gum arabic (I'm told that arrowroot would work aswell,

but we didn't try that).


The ink looks light grey when it goes on, but as it oxidises it slowly

turns to black. It's quite fun watching the ink develop before your

eyes, it's quite different from modern inks which just sit there

staying the same colour.


If you leave out the gum arabic/arrowroot you have a dye. Heat silk in

it and you get a dense bluish black. On wool it gives a very very dark

brown colour, it looks black beside a black T shirt, but had a

definite brownish tinge when held next to ythe dyed silk.


The oak galls are a concentrated source of tannin. If you can't get

oak galls we produced a similar effect by boiling three teabags in a

cup of water for about quarter of an hour. It wasn't quite as good an

ink as the stuff from the oak galls, but it improved overnight and

gave a reasonable black. The oak gall ink also improved overnight even

though we had strained out the oak galls by passing it through a

coarse cloth. I suppose there was still fine sediment in the pot that

was causing the tannin concentration to go up? After leaving overnight

the ink went onto paper as a dark grey colour, and turned as black as

india ink within minutes.


I would like to try the same again with a different source of Iron

since a bottle of Iron sulphate crytals doesn't look very period.

Iron filings or rust might work as a source of Iron to blacken the

ink, as vegetable tanned leather turns black when exposed to iron

rivets and fittings. I suspect the iron is reacting with the tannin in

the leather to produce the same black compound.


The oak gall ink dyes wood black, so I'm planning on using it to

paint in the details on my Viking tent, as the original from the

Gokstad ship had painted details on it.


We used quill pens to write with the ink, and sometimes found the ink

went on a little grey as it ran out. This meant that we had to dip

slightly more often than when using india ink, but it was worth it for

the fun of watching the letters change colour as we wrote.



Vanaheim Vikings



From: katieroz at aol.com (KatieRoz)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: German scroll

Date: 24 Jun 1994 13:12:05 -0400


In response to a previous message on producing a late period German

scroll......In my personal collection, I have a manual on 15th

century German illumination.  This book details various pigments,

designs and executions.  The title is "The Gottingen Model Book- a

facsimile edition and translation of a 15th century Illuminators'

manual".  The ISBN number is 0-8262-0261-6 and the Library of

Congress card catalog number is 78-62289.  This is the latest  period

book that I could find and if you have any problem getting a copy,

please let me know and we can try and work something out. It is a

very informative book and well worth having.  


From: gray at ibis.cs.umass.edu (Lyle Gray)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Guache and fixative?

Date: 30 Aug 1994 14:47:22 GMT

Organization: Dept. of Computer Science, Univ. of Mass., Amherst, MA


SandraDodd (sandradodd at aol.com) wrote:

: To all illuminators from Mistress AElflaed of Duckford (a musician)


: I'm posting this for my apprentice, Dwynwen.  Any suggestions would be

: welcome!  If you could post them here for the benefit of the general

: readership, or e-mail to TLBougher at aol.com I would be grateful.


: >In the Middle Kingdom Scribes' Handbook and in the Complete Anachronist

: >book on C&I, a recommended paint to use is gouache.  My question is, is

: >there something to be done to the work after it's done?  Since gouache

: >becomes very reworkable when it gets wet, what kind of preventative

: >measure can be taken to assure that sweaty palms, mist or rain do not

: >spoil a scroll?  Most of the things I've read say to stay away from the

: >waterproof inks and paints.


My lady and I use a spray fixitive with the brand name Krylon on scrolls where

we have used gouache (which is all of them...).  This will help reduce

smudging from sweaty palms.  However, I don't recommend that the scroll be

exposed to rain, regardless -- we provide scroll folders whenever we can.


Lyle FitzWilliam

------------------------------------------------------ NON ANIMAM CONTINE

Lyle H. Gray                       Internet (personal): gray at cs.umass.edu

Quodata Corporation            Phone: (203) 728-6777, FAX: (203) 247-0249



From: Elaine_Crittenden at dxpressway.com (Elaine Crittenden)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Leather & Ink?

Date: 13 Mar 1997 23:41:19 GMT

Organization: Digital Xpressway - Dallas, TX


Given your short time span and your experience to calligraph the poem for your

deadline, I would go with paper, too. Deer hides are too thick for good

caliber late period pieces, anyway, and the thinner vellums need stretching

to avoid buckling. The thinnest is "uterine vellum," made from the skin of

unborn calves. In buying vellum offcuts, you can wind up with some really

thick pieces for practice or "parchment size" (glue) manufacture. you will

also have to specify what kind of "finish" you want and state the purpose,

since you wouldn't want to buy a bookbinder's thickness for a scribe's needs.


I have some sheets of paper(used for printing press work) dating from the

mid-fifteen hundreds in England. It is not very slick, nor very white. It is

fairly thin, but is opaque. Most of what I have is not laid paper, but more

of a "wove" type. The doodling in the margins is done in a watery,

transparent brownish ink--done sometime between 1569 and the present--your

guess is as good as mine.

Quills (from the 1st five feathers--the primaries) on a wingtip(right wings

for "leftie" scribes and vice versa) are a bitch to "dutch" if they have not

naturally aged. I would suggest you read the Donald Jackson chapter in The

Calligrapher's Handbook. It is excellent and precise, although I was taught

by George Yanagita.

If you do get to use true vellum, you will also need fine sandpaper.

(Careful! you don't want suede from too vigorous sanding--and do your sanding

outdoors. Trust me.) You will also need powdered sandarac (a Middle eastern

tree's dried sap) for the "flesh side," especially, since it's greasier than

the "hair side."

When you make a mistake lettering, just use a convexly curved scalpel to

scrape the mistake off, but have a gentle touch, please. Too, you may want to

burnish the roughed up fibers and sandarac it again before writing again.

Paper is so much more painless, for this stage in your project. I preferred

using Crane's resume paper for a minature book I scribed. For that kind of

very tiny work (I'm talking italic for lettering a book at less than 1/20th

of an inch for the minuscules), I use a specially converted pointed pen,

honed to a tiny broad edge point on crocus cloth. I found it did not throw up

fibers between the tines of the nib as often as the other13 papers I



Good luck!    ...Elaine Crittenden (Dallas TX) aka Lete bithe Spring

(Steppes, Ansteorra)



Date: Thu, 21 Aug 1997 09:10:37 -0400 (EDT)

From: Carol at Small Churl Books <scbooks at neca.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Grimbald Gospels


>The Grimbald Gospels are 11th century English (from Winchester); the

illumination combines knotwork and foliage (in the one photo I've seen) and

I would love to research it further.  Help?


Without a copy at hand and thus working from memory.... There are examples

of gospels from Winchester in _Golden Age of English Manuscript Painting

1200-1500_  published by Braziller.  It is in print.  I'd suggest looking

there to see if it has examples from that particular gospel.



From: "M. Zoe Holbrooks" <zoeholbr at u.washington.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Apprentice Illuminator's Workboke

Date: Thu, 4 Sep 1997 11:29:20 -0700

Organization: University of Washington


My apologies for broadcasting this notice so widely, but my

alternate ISP crashed and my notes on who asked about this

went with it.  :{


Apprentice Illuminator's Workboke is being reprinted and

will be available from Pastiche at major An Tir events, or

by mail c/o Foggy Bell, 3634 NE 19th, Portland, OR  97212.

For more information and/or to reserve a copy from this

print run, email me directly.


My thanks for your attention,


Asahla Telerion



Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 01:14:05 -0600

From: rockwallshire at webtv.net (Shared Account)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Scribal mailing List


Crawling around on the Web tonight, I found an address for a

newly-opened, SCA-specific scribal mailing list. As we have been having

a scribal discussion on this list recently, I thought I'd let folks here

know about what I found. :)


To subscribe, send an email to:


majordomo at castle.org


with the body of the message stating:


subscribe scribes


You'll get a confirmation code back, and once you return that code to

majordomo, you're on!


I hope that this information will be of interest and help to you.


Your servant, lowly Merouda, writing thru the Rockwall account



Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 08:38:58 -0500

From: Erik & Karen Dutton <edutton at worldnet.att.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Sinister scribes


Naomi & Peter FRYER wrote:

>  I am in need of information I have a budding Lefthanded scribe in my

> possesion(ha haaa)


As a southpaw who has done a *little* calligraphy, I have two

suggestions that may be of use:


1) If he blocks out the entire scroll in advance, then he can letter

backwards, from right to left, which will help to alleviate some of the

traditional smudging problems.


2) Arabic/Islamic calligraphy is a godsend for scribes like us - and

while there is not a large call for it, it can make a huge difference

when creating a scroll for someone who has a Moorish or Spanish persona,

or whose persona history includes a Crusade. It also makes neat and

unusual border illumination, when you're tired of drawing little bitty



Rhodri ap Hywel



Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 12:06:45 -0600

From: theodelinda at webtv.net (linda webb)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Sinister scribes


Thanks for letting us know where to find the  nibs--we've had a lefty or

two here--of course, I guess in period, you just learned to cut a pen

nib to suit yourself.  By the way, there is a surviving book copied by

St. Thomas Aquinas, who was left-handed--the monk in charge of books at

that abbey wrote (I think on the title page)  something like  " this

book was copied by our beloved  brother in Christ, Thomas, Regrettably,

it is illegible"  Having seen  a photograph of one of the pages, I have

to agree!   I don't know if he didn't bother to adjest the nib of his

pen, or was just trying to write as fast as he thought--I've read that

he could keep four secretaries busy at once.  At least nowadays

left-handers can get some things adjusted to suit them, and we don't try

to break them of it as children.      Theodelinda



Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 21:32:11 -0500 (EST)

From: Carol Thomas <scbooks at neca.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Sinister scribes


Although neither left-handed nor a scribe, I liked _Basics of Left-Handed

Calligraphy_ by Shepherd, publisher Prentice, now long out of print - try

ILL.  If I remember correctly, it had different calligraphy methods based on

how your lefty holds the pen to write: curled over from the top, down below

the letters, etc.


There is also useful infomation in  _Left Handed Calligraphy_ from Dover

Press.  It is in print.  This topic, I think, proves that there is a book



Lady Carllein



Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 20:55:07 -0700

From: Twcs <no1home at encompass.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Paper


> I have been using  Bristol board with a vellum finish but it

> sucks.  Really, it sucks the ink in leaving tendrals. It also

> buckles when it gets too wet.



I use Strathmore brand bristol board, Series 500, vellum finish.

It's sold in sheets and not in a pad.  Get the highest ply you can find.


2-ply is too flimsy, and will warp when wet.  3-ply is ok. I've done

a lot of scrolls on 3-ply.  Personally, I use 4-ply whenever I can get it,

though more often than not, 4-ply is usually only available in the

Series 400 papers.  If you want to do dependent wax seals, you have

to use 4-ply.  Mind you, all of this advice is applicable only to the

Strathmore brand papers, towards which I have a strong bias.


About the ink problem: I'm not sure what to say.  What brand of ink

are you using, and what kind of pen?  The wrong kind of ink and/or

pen can also cause the problem you describe, especially if the ink is

too thin or the pen nib is damaged. Your technique might be a

contributing factor too, since going too slow, pressing too hard, and/or


overloading the pen with ink can screw things up.


Personally, I wouldn't pounce a paper, but since several other folks

have done so (according to their posts), I guess it must be ok.  The

reasons I would shy away from sandarac or modern pounce are: 1) a

good art paper suitable for gouache should already be sized correctly,

and 2) over-sizing the paper with a pounce can prevent the gouache

from sticking to the paper (this can happen to vellum too, as I have

discovered the hard way).  Modern pounce, by the way, is a

synthetic elastomer, similar to rubber, and it's used with modern drafting

inks which are much thinner than the waterproof india inks we use on

scrolls.  It's great stuff if you're drafting with modern inks on modern

drafting "vellums" (which have minimum tooth and lots of sizing).  It's

not so hot (IMHO) with the more-viscous india inks used on high-tooth

papers, like a Strathmore vellum-finish bristol: it's too hard to remove

from the paper, especially the 3- and 4-plys.


Anyway, that's my opinion on the matter.

ttfn, Therasia (aka Twcs, aka Catie, aka Hey You  ;-)



Date: 1 Feb 1998 19:43:15 -0800

From: "Marisa Herzog" <marisa_herzog at macmail.ucsc.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Sinister scribes


>Is there some out there who has sucessfully taught a sinister scribe

that <snip>


Haven't taught anybody who is sinister, but a mundane artist friend recommend

investing in an "artist's bridge", one of those clear acrylic supports that

holds you hand and arm off the paper...




Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 16:01:38 -0800

From: Twcs <no1home at encompass.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Period hebrew calligraphy


Irene wrote:

> I am working on a piece of 10th C hebrew calligraphy and Illumination to

> enter into Midwinter Arts and Sciences here in Meridies.  Is there anyone

> else out there who is or has done any work in this area?  I would be

> interested in chatting with others who have or are presently working in

> this area.


Yes, I've been working on Hebrew hands for a while. I'm probably wierd,

but I find it easiest to callig with the paper sideways, writing from bottem

to top (Hebrew is a right to left alaphabet).  My source for medieval Hebrew

alaphabets: _Jewish Life in the Middle Ages_, Metzger and Metzger, Alpine

Fine Arts Ltd., NY, c.1982;  ISBN 0-933516-57-6.  This book has a huge

selection of pages from Jewish medieval manuscripts, mostly in the early

and high gothic styles, from all over western Europe. Track this book down

-it's worth the time to find. (It's probably out of print, so I'd start looking

for a copy in your nearest university library; or do a search with the used book

sellers.)  Good luck, and remember, written medieval Hebrew is like Welsh:

there no #$%&*!#!! vowels!  ;-)


Twcs (5 days til PhD defense...ahg!!!!!!)



Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 09:55:44 -0500

From: Wendy Colbert <WendyC at vivid.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Period hebrew calligraphy


>>> Secondly, Yes, Hebrew, both modern & anciet has vowels: hay,

>>> vav,yud,eyin, and sometimes, sort-of....aleph.

>>> Phillipa


>> Good luck, and remember, written medieval Hebrew is like Welsh:

>>  there no #$%&*!#!! vowels!  ;-)

>>  Twcs (5 days til PhD defense...ahg!!!!!!)


>Actually, Twcs is right -- a lot of formal written Hebrew, even to today,

>does not indicate the vowels.  Torahs are written without vowels.


But I am not doing a formal piece and I do need to write the vowels.


>Just in case you thought it was hard enough reading Hebrew going backwards,

>with accents, silent and spoken vowels (depending), AND two different

>pronunciation sets.......


Ah, but hebrew does have vowels, to give them their transliterations_

Patach, Kubutz,Chirik,Segol,Kamatz,Tzeirei,Cholam,Shuruk,Sheva,Chataf

Patach,Chataf Segol, Chataf Kamatz and Kamatz Katan.


Since the piece I am working from is a primer for children (a first

teaching book, as it were) it does include the vowels. And a kettubah from

the same era and region also shows vowels.

The vowels in this primer are Kamatz Katan, Patach,Segol,

Tzeirei,Chirik,Cholam (in the form without the vav),Kubutz and Shuruk





Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 00:10:39 EST

From: <BastetKat at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Illumination questions


Lilith at retliv.com writes:

>  I have been trying to learn some illumination basics.... (If a

>  particular title would be of best interests for me to read, please let me

>  know!)


     I can send you a list of books I used in my last class. It's a Word



>  After all that reading I still have some questions which come to mind for

>  me....how large should the total work be (as in 'paper' size)? I am

>  currently using Windsor & Newton Designers Gouache; are these alright or

>  must I figure out how to create my own paints and pigments? Does anyone

>  recommend a good non-bleeding black outlining ink?


     Windsor & Newton Designer is a good brand, and gouache is what I (and all

the callig/illum laurels I've spoken to) recommend. I am currently

experimenting with creating my own pigments, but don't think that is necessary

for a beginner. It's something you might want to consider when you feel very

comfortable with the whole process.


     Always, always follow this order of work: calligraphy, gold leaf (if

any), THEN illuminating. Don't ever succumb to any temptation to do the

painting first. The reason is, you can fix a problem in painting fairly

easily. If you mess up the calligraphy, there is very little you can do.

(there are a few things, but they can be more trouble that they're worth.)

Use a "kneaded" eraser, or the white kind that comes in sticks.


     Paper size is entirely up to you. Many period books were fairly small

(around the size of the average paperback today.) but huge books using entire

cow skins did exist. I have a friend who owns a sheet from a period choral

book, and it is about 20 inches by 36 inches. My advice is to leave a large

margin around all sides. To make to margin look visually identical, you must

make the bottom margin about 1 1/2 times the width of the others. If you make

them all the same, the text will look like it is "falling". Please do not use

yellow ("parchment" colored) paper! Vellum yellows with age, but starts out

only slightly off white. You can get away with cheap calligraphy paper for

now, but you will eventually want to move on to high quality paper, and

eventually real vellum. When you move on to good paper, look for "hot press"

(smooth surface, as opposed to "cold" or "warm", which have nubbly surfaces

for watercolor painting), "acid free", and "100% rag". Test your paper,

whatever you pick, first! Cheap paper can make your ink bleed, and get

warped by the paint.


     I have had good luck with Pelikan brand ink. True india inks are

pigmented (as opposed to dyes, which are transparent), and contain shellac.

The shellac rises to the top as the ink dries, and makes the ink mostly

waterproof. Gold inks made of bits of metal suspended in a carrier imitate

"shell gold" well. You must shake these inks very well!


>  I'm not real sure how picky to be for real competition and so -any- help you

>  can give me to nudge me in the right direction would be wonderful.


>  Lilith


     I'm not sure how picky you should be, either. All kingdoms seem to have

different standards as to judging. If you haven't had the opportunity to see

an average entry in your kingdom before, you might want to ask the

callig/illum people in your kingdom. Good luck! I will be happy to answer

any questions you might have.





Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 03:17:36 -0600

From: Roberta R Comstock <froggestow at juno.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Illumination questions


I've seen actual period manuscripts as small as 3 x 5 inches and as large

as about 18 X 30 inches.  The page size is pretty much up to you.   If

you want it to look like a book page, be sure to leave adequate margins,

with extra space on the 'bound' side of the page (left side of a recto,

right side of a verso).


The thing many beginners seem to have trouble with is getting their

calligraphy hand to be consistent with their illumination style.  For

example, using late period calligraphy with early period borders,

sometimes mixing cultures as well.  Gothic French will be entirely

different from Visigothic Spanish, early Hiberno-Saxon, Renaissance

Italian and so on.


Look at as many examples of different styles as you can find.  Sometimes

you can find them in art history books or illustrated 'coffee table'

books such as those published by Time-Life.  Pay attention to details

such as spacing of letters and lines of text, whether illuminated

capitals are set into the text block or 'hung' out in the margin,

relative sizes of margins, placement of ornamental borders, whether there

is a text-related illustration.


When I began, I started doing illuminations on pieces that others had

lettered.  I eventually took up calligraphy because I couldn't get the

scribes I knew to do the layouts I wanted to illuminate or the hands

consistent with the type of illuminations I liked to do. Have been away

from C&I for some time now - other interests (plus carpal tunnel

syndrome) edged it out.


Good Luck!  and don't forget to have fun!





Date: Fri, 5 Feb 1999 11:47:59 -0500

From: "Helen Schultz (KHvS)" <meistern at netusa1.net>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Stained glass and celtic knotwork


This is slightly off the subject of stained glass, but in reference to the

comment by Slaine "I'm not the sort of person who goes ballistic when

knotwork/interlace patterns show up in later period pieces..."  I thought

I'd slip in with a piece of illumination trivia.  The Italians and Flemish

of the early 15th Century were using their rendition of knotwork in their

illuminations... and got almost as intricate as the original Irish




(a calligrapher & illuminator)



Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 13:14:29 EST

From: <BastetKat at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Manuscript copies?


J. Neal Books, and Paper & Ink books also sell facsimiles of medieval

manuscripts; their prices are usually good. They also both carry a wide

range of calligraphy supplies.


<A HREF="http://www.johnnealbooks.com/";>John Neal, Bookseller</A>


<A HREF="http://www.paperinkbooks.com/";>Paper & Ink Books</A>






Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 19:50:13 -0500

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu, medieval-leather at egroups.com,

        Anna.Troy at bibks.uu.se

Subject: Parchment Supplies and Scribal Links




Parchment and Scribal Links to the Kingdoms.



Subject: Scribes Web Page Update

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 22:11:40 -0500

From: "Linda Pancrazio" <LindaP at IPass.net>

To: "Merry Rose" <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>,

     "Scribe List" <Scribes at atlantia.sca.org>


Greetings to the Rose and to the Quill and Scroll,


I'm writing to let you all know about some of the updates and additions to

the Atlantian Scribes page.



Most of the on-line scribes handbook has been updated to include color

badges and navigation buttons. It's "pretty" up though the Orders of Merit.

(page 22 if you have the printed version handy.) We've also added texts for

all the new awards.


We added a Scrivener Royal page to provide information about the position &

the upcoming competition at Spring Crown and there's a link to some samples

of our current scrivener's beautiful work.


Genevieve d'Evreux


p.s. for those scribes on the Merry Rose but not the Atlantian Scribes

list - The Quill and Scroll (scribes at atlantia.sca.org) is a list created

especially for Atlantian Scribes to talk about Atlantian Scribe Stuff. The

volume is quite low - we're using it mostly for general announcements and

Atlantian specific questions (although general questions are welcome as

well). There is also an interkingdom scribes list based in Caid

(scribes at castle.org) with a high volume and tons of good information. Links

to subscription information for both of these lists can be found - you

guessed it - on the Atlantian Scribes page. :)


Linda Pancrazio | SCA: Lady Genevieve d'Evreux

Selma NC, USA   | Elvegast, Windmasters' Hill, Atlantia

lindap at ipass.net        | http://www.ipass.net/~lindap/scribelinks.html



From: Celestria LeDragon [celestria_ledragon at yahoo.com]

Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2002 7:29 PM

To: bryn-gwlad at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Bryn-gwlad] Medieval Writing link


I found this site about the different tools and documents used.






From: rachel luce <rachel_luce1975 at yahoo.com>

Date: January 9, 2005 10:48:50 PM CST

To: Ansteorra <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>, Barony of Raven's Fort <ravensfort at ansteorra.org>

Cc: Subject: [Ansteorra] Renaissance handwriting



            Insomnia sometimes turns up some wonderful

websites. This one has to do with palaeography in the

english rennaisance.




Thought I'd share it with everyone. For those of you

who are into caliigraphy it isn't exactly calligraphy

or illumination but it does have a lot of images

scanned directly from period documents.




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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org