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"Calligraphy", simply put, is handwriting -- and within our context, it is generally handwriting in medieval scripts that is considered. "Illumination" in this context is any decoration of a written page, and might include drawings, paintings, scrollwork, vinework, particularly fancy letters, and any number of things. In the SCA, people often refer to "C&I" as shorthand for "Calligraphy & Illumination". And the people who do either one or both, we call them "scribes".

People often do C&I just for the fun of it, and for personal projects, like things they want to keep, or fancy invitations, or gifts for friends, or thank you notes, or Christmas cards, or many other things; and they might produce books or individuals pages or bookmarks or decorated scraps or all manner of things. But another wonderful thing done by many generous scribes is to donate their time and talents, and often their own materials, so that people receiving recognitions within the SCA can have a written (and usually decorated) record by which to remember the honor they were given -- most often taking the form of a callig'ed and illuminated page, which we in the SCA have come to call "a scroll", even though they are almost never rolled up. (As a related note, "thing scrolls" is a term sometimes used for physical objects of other sorts given for the same purpose, generally with some sort of writing on them, too. Often, the type of thing is chosen for its significance for the bearer; a runestone for someone with a Norse persona, an axe for someone who once bore an axe as Queen's Champion, a hammer for a smith, an instrument for someone involved in music, these are but a few examples from the history of the Society.)

If you ever receive such a scroll, realize that the scroll itself was probably a gift from the scribe(s) who created it; be appreciative and thank them, if you can find out who they are and make contact, in addition to the one(s) recognizing you. And if the scroll you get is a photocopy of a pre-drawn "blank", colored in by someone else, appreciate that, too. Some gentle gave their time and materials to make that original drawing and/or writing, and someone gave their time and materials to color it for you and to fill in your name and achievements and the information about where, when, and from whom you received that recognition!

Check the Calendar of Events to see what's going on.


Heraldry can be big part of crafting your persona. For assistance with researching and/or registering a device, see our Heraldic Resources page or contact the Herald.

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