What are the “must have” Heraldic reference books?

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Stephen J F Plowman
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What are the “must have” Heraldic reference books?

Postby Stephen J F Plowman » 15 Aug 2019, 14:02

What are the “must have” Heraldic reference books? My initial list is:

An Ordinary of Arms Volume I, 1903. - Sir James Balfour Paul
An Ordinary of Arms Volume II, 1977. - Lyon Office
An Ordinary of Scottish Arms pre-1672
Dictionary of British Arms: Medieval Ordinary (4 Vols)
General Armory Burke's
General Armory Two 1973 - Cecil R. Humphery-Smith
Papworth's Ordinary of British Armorials
Fairbairns Book Of Crests Of The Families Of Great Britain And Ireland (2 Vols)
Grantees of Arms 1687 to 1898 - Harleian Society
Grantees of Arms to the end of the 17th Century - Harleian Society
Herald's Visitations - Various Counties - Harleian Society

Armorial Families 1929 - Arthur C. Fox-Davies
Illustrations to the Armorial General – Rolland & Rolland
Armorial General – Rietstap


What else do I have to sneak past my wife into the study? Those in italic I only have as PDF.

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Arthur Radburn
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Re: What are the “must have” Heraldic reference books?

Postby Arthur Radburn » 15 Aug 2019, 18:31

How about sneaking in a copy of Friar's "New Dictionary of Heraldry" (1987)?

Three earlier editions of F-D's Armorial Families are available on archive.org, namely the 1895, 1899 and 1905 editions.

If you want historical texts, Edmondson's "Complete Body of Heraldry" (1780), Berry's "Encyclopaedia Heraldica" and Robson's "British Herald" (1830) are also available online.
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Arthur Radburn
IAAH Vice-President : Heraldic Education

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Martin Goldstraw
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Re: What are the “must have” Heraldic reference books?

Postby Martin Goldstraw » 15 Aug 2019, 18:50

Sadly, Friar's New Dictionary has more than one misleading "fact" and, even though it is possibly the most up to date encyclopedia on heraldry, even now it is very outdated containing assertions that no longer hold true. Plus, it contains very biased and outdated (insulting and arrogant) views of subjects such as "bogus" (assumed) arms and at least one of its contributors no longer enjoys the reputation he would have wished. That said, so long as the reader questions and challenges what is written rather than blindly accepting the contents as gospel it's better than nothing.
Martin Goldstraw
Cheshire Heraldry
http://cheshire-heraldry.org.uk

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Stephen J F Plowman
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Re: What are the “must have” Heraldic reference books?

Postby Stephen J F Plowman » 16 Aug 2019, 13:46

Arthur Radburn wrote:How about sneaking in a copy of Friar's "New Dictionary of Heraldry" (1987)?


I inherited Fairbairn's Book of Crests so my first heraldic purchase was BGA probably closely followed by "New Dictionary of Heraldry". Over the years I have downloaded hundreds of assorted heraldic books as PDF. I am slowly getting hard copies of key reference books but was wondering if I have overlooked any.

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JMcMillan
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Re: What are the “must have” Heraldic reference books?

Postby JMcMillan » 17 Aug 2019, 04:52

I detect an insular tone to most of the books mentioned... :)

For American heraldry, it's an unfortunately short list of truly worthwhile books.

Eugene Zieber's Heraldry in America (1895); available online from Google Books and also very cheap in a number of recent reprints.

Charles K. Bolton, Bolton's American Armory (1927). The most complete collection of arms actually used in the area covered by the present day United States (mostly East coast and Midwest, of course), in most cases mentioning specific artifacts on which the arms are emblazoned.

Henry L. P. Beckwith, ed. A Roll of Arms (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2013). Parts 1-10 of the ongoing roll compiled since 1923 by the NEHGS Committee on Heraldry, consisting primarily of arms of foreign origin to which American immigrants can be documented to have been entitled.

For modern, mostly assumed arms, there are the published registers of the American College of Heraldry and the Augustan Society, each containing arms registered by the organization concerned.

There are other general compilations of varying degrees of reliability such as Vermont's American Heraldica, Crozier's General Armory, and Matthews American Armory and Blue Book, none of which I would rely on without double-checking. The same goes for the various Burke's volumes focusing on American arms.Vermont and Crozier in particular were apt to "correct" arms actually borne into arms they thought a person ought to have borne, and Matthews seems to have accepted whatever arms his socialite customers told him they were entitled to.
Joseph McMillan
Alexandra, Virginia, USA

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Stephen J F Plowman
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Re: What are the “must have” Heraldic reference books?

Postby Stephen J F Plowman » 19 Aug 2019, 12:33

JMcMillan wrote:I detect an insular tone to most of the books mentioned... :)


Insular, moi? There is Continental content!

I even have a hard copy of Crozier's General Armory. ;)


My ex-Worthing Library copy of Papworth's Ordinary of Arms has just been delivered to my desk. I have some rearranging to do in the book shelves.

Bruce E Weller
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Re: What are the “must have” Heraldic reference books?

Postby Bruce E Weller » 15 Jan 2020, 08:49

Scratching for a place to post this link but, on the off-chance that the opportunity to purchase may appeal to a member.

https://www.oakknoll.com/pages/books/131592/english-baronets-being-a-genealogical-and-historical-account-of-their-families

The volumes caught my attention both on account of their age (1727) and the price (sadly out of my range) USD 700.

Hector Rojas
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Re: What are the “must have” Heraldic reference books?

Postby Hector Rojas » 02 Jun 2020, 15:30

Being that we are an "International" heraldry group, perhaps the addition of these must-have books on Spanish heraldry is appropriate:

Tratado Completo de la Ciencia del Blazon - Modesto Costa y Turell (1858)

Ciencia Heraldica o del Blazon - Alberto y Arturo Garcia Carrafa (1919)
Hector A. Rojas, MA, AIGA
SSG, USA Ret.
Heraldic Artist

Hector Rojas
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Re: What are the “must have” Heraldic reference books?

Postby Hector Rojas » 02 Jun 2020, 15:38

JMcMillan wrote:I detect an insular tone to most of the books mentioned... :)

For American heraldry, it's an unfortunately short list of truly worthwhile books.


LOL, indeed, I would like to add a couple of excellent books as well:

American Armoury and Blue Book - John Matthews (1907)

America Heraldica - E. de V. Vermont (1887)
Hector A. Rojas, MA, AIGA
SSG, USA Ret.
Heraldic Artist

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John Rafael
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Re: What are the “must have” Heraldic reference books?

Postby John Rafael » 10 Aug 2020, 04:32

For Portuguese/Brazilian Heraldry, I'd suggest:

Archivo Heráldico-Genealógico by Viscount Sanches de Baena (1872)
Armaria Portuguesa by Anselmo Braamcamp Freire (1908)
Archivo Nobiliarchico Brasileiro by Baron of Vasconcelos (1921)
Heráldica by Gastão de Mello de Matos and Luís Stubbs Saldanha Monteiro Bandeira (1969)
Heráldica by Luiz Marques Poliano (1986)
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