How to build a heraldic library for under $250

by Aryanhwy merch Catmael

A few months ago Alia Marie Rampart issued a challenge on SCA-heralds to build a heraldic library for under $250. These are the books I suggested then. If you search for title and author at or, you may find copies for similar prices to those listed below.

The essentials (and typical prices)

And how about the last $25 for a Pictorial Dictionary (PicDic), available from the SCA Marketplace.

Which books should I get first?

Q: Should I start with a rare book or two, or get the ones most used?

A: Definitely get the basics before you get the rare ones. You will use Withycombe, OCM, Reaney and Wilson, and Black far more than any other books.

Other book recommendations

Zenobia Black Stag says:

One book which is inexpensive, has some color pictures of real period heraldry, has a good (no, really good) description of the true origins of heraldry (not Fox-Davies' wish list), and is not anglocentric is Michel Pastoureau's (translated) little volume. In the back of this book are some really quite good essays on brown paper. It contains some of the information that you can get in his French-language and highly period-focused Traité de Heraldique (which is much more expensive and has very few if any color pix.)

Discoveries: Heraldry is one edition:
Amazon link / Bookfinder search

I think Heraldry: Its Origins and Meanings is the same book from a different publisher (this may be a U.S. vs. British edition situation):
Amazon link / Bookfinder search