College of Scribes

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The Caidan College of Scribes, overseen by the Scribe Armarius, is responsible for producing the beautiful scrolls that are presented to Caidan award recipients, and for fostering learning in the fields of Calligraphy and Illumination.

The College received a Royal Recognition of Excellence for service to the kingdom from Conrad II and A'isha, 06/07/2014.

Decades ago, everyone who got an award in Caid automatically went on the scroll assignment list and (eventually) received a hand-painted scroll, until such time as the number of award recipients far exceeded the ability of the scribes to keep up with it. It is now the custom in Caid to contact the Scribe Armarius if you would like to receive a scroll and/or would like to do a scroll for a particular person. There are exceptions to this, in the case of peerage awards for which scrolls are often done in advance to be given at the time of the elevation. Please note that for all scrolls the recipient's name must be passed by the College of Arms and for most scrolls arms must be passed as well.

Even if you've never done calligraphy and/or illumination, you are encouraged to take advantage of Collegium classes and various workshops offered throughout the Kingdom (aka "Scriptorium"). This is an SCA-wide activity, as you can see from the links to other Kingdoms' scrolls below.

The Award Certificates given at court used to be called "promissories" because they were considered to be placeholder documents for a more elaborate scroll. For some time, these Award Certificates were colored in by hand, but it was determined that the effort expended on that would be far better spent on a formal scroll.

In addition to calligraphed and illuminated scrolls, other mediums have included embroidery, weaving, and etching. The most outstanding example of the latter was a project done by Master Luke Knowlton in the Barony of Carolingia for the Laureling ceremony of Maestra Irayari Vairavi, a former resident of Caid. The scroll text was translated into the appropriate Indian dialect and script, and etched onto the tablets. Master Luke detailed his research and process for the copper plates traditionally used in India.

Award Certificates

For most Caidan awards, the Crown bestows a medallion bearing the badge of the Order or other token of the Award, along with a color-printed Award Certificate, dated and signed by the King and/or Queen. (Only the Queen signs the Legion of Courtesy certificate because this is Her award to give.) The Award Certificate commemorates the award and, depending on the award, the reason it was granted. (Previously Award Certificates were called "Promissories" because they were a promise for the production of a finished scroll. Today, with the requirement that the recipient request scroll production, the certificate does not promise anything. Thus the change to more accurate terminology.)

Please note that not all awards have scroll texts and scrolls are not done for the Vanguard of Honor, Corde de Guerre, and Signum Reginae (and its variants) and Legion of Courtesy.

For awards that grant a title and/or change in Order of Precedence, the award recipient may contact the Scribe Armarius to request the production of a "scroll." The scroll is an SCA document which more formally commemorates the giving of the award and is signed by the King and Queen who bestowed it and sealed by the Scribe Armarius. Some scrolls also include the recipient's arms, in which case, the Crescent Principal Herald also signs and seals the document.

It is the responsibility of the Royal Chamberlain to maintain a supply of color-printed Award Certificates for the reign. The current art files are located at Award Certificate art; however, do NOT use art on this page without clearing it first with the Scribe Armarius. The Royal Chamberlain is also responsible for coordinating production of award cords.

Likewise, Barons and Baronesses are responsible for the production of their own baronial Award Certificates and scrolls for those awards.

Scroll Templates

To make it easier for new scribes (and old scribes) to get started doing scrolls, the College of Scribes has set up some scroll designs that can be used as scroll templates, most with some interchangeable parts so they will be different. Additional elements can also be added to customize the scrolls. Thanks to Valeria Cabrielli for getting this program started. See instructions for using scroll templates below:

Instructions for using the AoA level templates:

There are currently 4 separate templates in 3 styles (with more to come). Each PDF has 2 pages; one with the overall page design, and one with individual elements to put into the assigned areas. There is an additional file with color references for each of the scroll types.

First, print out both pages of the PDF you wish to use. If you print them out full size, they will fit on an 11”x14” piece of Bristol Board with a nice margin for framing. If you choose to print them smaller, please be aware that the seal spaces need to be about 2”diameter regardless of the size of the rest of the scroll; at this point we are not recommending this option.

Next, place the overall design behind the scroll paper on a light box or sunny window. Tape the papers lightly together to prevent movement while you are tracing. Trace the design elements onto the scroll paper lightly with pencil (just outlining the corners should be sufficient for the box shapes). Then take the second page and pick which patterns or letters or shield shapes you wish to use and trace those elements into the appropriate areas. If you know who the recipient of the scroll is, you can and put it device on the scroll (get a copy from the Roll of Arms or Crescent Herald); if not, leave that area blank.

The next steps are calligraphing and painting. If you can get the scroll calligraphed before you paint, that is slightly preferred, but if you are not doing your own calligraphy and don’t have access to a calligrapher right at this moment, go ahead and paint the scroll. In the References file, there are color photos of the original pieces that served as inspiration for these scrolls- you do not have to paint them exactly as the reference, but it’s a good idea to note general colors and patterns before you start.

When you are finished, give the scroll to the Scribe Armarius, who will get it calligraphed if necessary, sealed, and presented.

More Information

Other Kingdoms



Officers of Caid
Offices: Crown, Arts & Sciences, Chatelaine, Chirurgeon, Chronicler, Constable, Exchequer, Herald, Lists, Marshal, Seneschal, Webwright, Youth
Officer Groups: Army, College of Heralds, College of Scribes, Collegium Caidis, Crown Prints, Newcomers Guild, Water Bearer Guild
Other Information: Caidan Law, Greater Officer of State, Lesser Officer of State, Guilds, Officer Hierarchy, Privy Council