An uncle of mine by marriage, who was a very distinguished historian, once asked me, when I was a young man, whether I was interested in Heraldry. I said that I was not. ‘I'm glad of that,” he said, “heraldry strikes me as being for a historian about on the same level of interest as stamp collecting.” – Maurice Keen, in the Preface to Origins of the English Gentleman
I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't register people's coats of arms (though I can certainly suggest designs for those who might be interested). What I do is study, research, teach, and write about heraldry. And I like to share what I have learned about heraldry, hence this blog. I hope that you'll find it informative, interesting at least occasionally, and worth your time to come back. Got a question? Comments? Feel free to let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
I recently ran across an article I hadn't seen before about an old heraldic roll of arms that had been found in a London antique shop o...
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Psst! Hey, Buddy!
Yeah, you. You wanna get some free downloads of some early French armorials? Naw, this is the real deal, I'm tellin' ya. Sure they're high res. What else would they be? Oh, yeah, I remember some of those early ones. Well, those days are past. This stuff is primo. Take my word for it. Trust me!
Seriously, it sometimes pays to go back and revisit web pages that I've looked at before, because the web is not static, and things can - and do - improve.
In this particular instance, it was a post from way back in December 31, 2012, on La langue du blason, a French-language blog that I visit periodically. I'd kept track of this post because it had links to several early French armorials digitized and uploaded by the French National Library (BNF), but for some reason, while all of the links worked for me, the BNF site would only let me download some of the armorials linked, and not others. And frankly, I like to be able to download such things to my hard drive so that I can research them at my leisure without having to go on-line. It's particularly useful if I'm traveling, where I might not always have a good internet connection, and I can copy them to an external hard drive and look at them on my netbook wherever I happen to be, with or without an internet connection.
So I was thrilled to find that the BNF has added some new features to their website, and that when I clicked the link from La langue du blason to the BNF page for a particular armorial, there was another link there in English that said "Test the future version of Gallica and discover its simplified viewer. View this document in Gallica Labs." So I did, and I was able to download each armorial without any difficulty at all! For example, here's a page of arms from Brabant in a Rôle d'armes du voyage d'Outre-mer ou Rôle d'armes de Gaignières (BNF Ms Fr 23077):