Seeking Proofreaders for Old LoARs

Folks — I’d love some help with a round of proof-reading for some old LoARs which I’ve transcribed for addition to the Laurel website.

There are a handful of letters from the 1970s which were scanned decades ago, but never got transformed into webpages. I’ve created new pages for them, but before they go live they could really benefit from a fresh set of eyes to spot any errors that may have crept in during transcription. The new pages were created via a mix of OCR and hand-typing, with manually-applied web markup, and almost certainly contain some errors.

Specifically, it is the Jan 1971, Apr 30 1973, Jul 1974, May 1975, Oct 29 1976, and Nov 1978 letters shown on this page, which are in need of this round of proof-reading. (The Dec 1970, July 1986, and Nov 1988 letters were already reviewed during a previous round of work, back in 2021 and have been successfully uploaded to the SCA Heraldry site.)

The Apr 30 1973 and Oct 29 1976 letters are both cases where Laurel issued two letters in the same calendar month — the first of which is already available on the SCA Heraldry site. Only the new second letter in each of those months requires review.

If you click on any of those, you’ll find paired links to the HTML version and a PDF file of the old scans.

It would be super helpful if each of those letters could be reviewed by one or two people, with the new page open in one window and the scans in another (or printed onto paper), and if you could send me any errors you find.

I’m interested in both large-scale errors and tiny details. Please pay special attention to the spelling of names, including the accent marks that are hand-written onto some of the old typewritten letters.

In a later round we’ll be comparing these letters to the O&A database, so I’d like these letters to match the original paper letters as closely as possible so we don’t introduce any new problems during reconciliation.


[Update, Jan 14:] I’ve updated the letters for 1971, ’73, ’74, ’75, and ’78 based on a first round of review; a second pass would be welcome (especially for 1974), although I’m hoping we’re pretty close at this point. The 1976 letter is untouched and still needs a close read.

[Update, Jan 16:] All letters have been proofed at least once — thanks to everyone who jumped in to help!

Who Owns the Copyright to the LoARs?

A couple of days ago, I was working on getting some old LoARs ready for publication online when I stopped to consider who held the copyrights to them.

[As with all of the legal commentary on this site, the below should be read with the knowledge that I am not a lawyer, and none of this should be taken as legal guidance — I’m just attempting to describe a somewhat-obscure issue as best I understand it.]

Because the letters were created by volunteers rather than employees, they are not “work for hire,” and I don’t think any past Sovereigns have been asked to sign agreements on the subject.

Continue reading “Who Owns the Copyright to the LoARs?”

Extraordinary Recognition

During the Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium this weekend, I learned from Master Yehuda ben Moshe that, as one of his final actions as Brigantia, I had been elevated to the rank of Herald Extraordinary, a recognition for which I am deeply grateful.

Unlike nearly all of the awards and honors of the Society, this rank can not be bestowed by royalty or their representatives in the baronage; instead it stems from the authority of the Sovereigns of the College of Arms and the Principal Heralds of each kingdom.

The term “extraordinary” is used here not in the sense of “unusual,” but rather to mean “outside the typical order” — a recognition of work being done sui generis, rather than in a fixed role within the Colleges’ normal organization.

“Such a rank shall have no fixed duties, unless such shall be agreed upon by the holder and the Kingdom Principal Herald, but instead the holder of the rank shall be a senior member of the College who shall lend heraldic expertise as s/he sees fit.”
— Wilhelm Laurel, July 1981 LoAR

The rank was established over forty years ago, and is closely held; the record suggests that only a dozen Extraordinaries have been named here in the East over the last two decades, and even fewer in the two decades before that.

This recognition is especially meaningful to me in coming from Master Yehuda, because it was during his elevation to Herald Extraordinary at KWHSS in 2018 that I first came to see this title as one to which I could aspire, and the members of this rank as a group of which I could hope to one day be considered a peer.

So, my thanks to Yehuda for the recognition, and to the Heralds of the Colleges for their companionship and conviviality over the last seven years — I will endeavor to continue to be worthy of this honor in the years ahead.

Descriptions for Field Division Directions

Following the 2021 rules change, SENA A5F1b now says that that changing the direction of partition lines is considered a Substantial Change, as is the difference between divided and undivided fields.

As a result, when using the Complex Search form to do conflict checking for fielded armory, we can add a second line for the field that matches anything with a similar direction. Continue reading “Descriptions for Field Division Directions”