<H1>The Society for<br> Creative Anachronism</H1>

Resources for Newcomers

SCA Publications


1) Introduction

2) Publications

3) Articles (forthcoming)

1) Introduction

As a newcomer to the SCA, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the apparent complexity of the organization. And to be truthful, there is a lot to learn - not only about the organization itself, but also the immense amount of historical information that is available from many sources covering the history and development of medieval society in Europe and elsewhere. It would be much simpler if we were reenacting a single culture during a specific time period in history; however, in order to provide the greatest latitude for anyone interested in the history of the Middle Ages, the SCA was developed to provide an organization that would allow a Celtic lord from the 6th century for example, to play with an Italian noble from the 16th century. Although contradictory in many ways, this anachronistic approach to the reenactment of life in the Middle Ages provides a very broad learning experience and captures the essence of the life and times of peoples of diverse backgrounds over a 1000 year period - hence the 'Society for Creative Anachronism'.

2) Publications

There SCA has several publications that provide a wealth of information for the newcomer. These are described below along with sources and online links:

1) Forward into the Past - An Introductory Guide to the S.C.A.

The first stop for any newcomer is the pamphlet titled "Forward into the Past" - An Introductory Guide to the S.C.A. The pamphlet covers the principal aspects of SCA activities and is available from the society at a nominal cost. An online version is also available on the Distant Shore web site (click here).

2) The Known World Handbook - A comprehensive outline of SCA activities.

"Being a compendium of information, traditions and crafts practiced in these Current Middle Ages in the Society of Creative Anachronism."

The one book that no newcomer should be without! The volume has been put together specifically for the newcomer and serves as a comprehensive review of the primary activities that are part of the SCA. The Known World Handbook is available from the Stockclerk at the On-line SCA Marketplace (click here to order on-line).

The following is an abbreviated Table of Contents:

3) Compleat Anachronist - In depth discussions on specific aspects of medieval life.

"The Compleat Anachronist is a series of pamphlets dedicated to the examining of specific topics of medieval life in depth, or the ramifications of a single theme in many areas. Each pamphlet is researched in depth and presented for the edification of members of The Society for Creative Anachronism and like-minded people throughout the Known World."

The Compeat Anachronist is published quarterly and covers a broad range of topics including armouring, leatherworking, costuming and everything in between. A complete list of titles along with descriptions for each topic are available on the Society website (click here for list of titles). Back issues of The Compleat Anachronist are available from the Stockclerk at the On-line SCA Marketplace (click here to order on-line).

Some popular titles include:

  1. #8 (09/83) Leathercraft for Common Usage - Introduction to leatherwork, a cutte bag, button-on pouch, leather bottell, and dice cup.

  2. #14 (08/84) Costuming to a T: Basic SCA Sewing - Introduction to sewing Frankish, Anglo-Saxon, Norman, Greek, and Byzantine costume; pouches, pants, and a Renaissance shirt

  3. #22 (11/85) Heraldry: The Design and Submission of Devices and Badges in the SCA (Excellent and friendly advice on designing and registering good heraldry - REVISED 1990 )

  4. #26 (7/86) Pavilions of the Known World - Instructions for building several medieval-style tents, with diagrams.

  5. #38 (7/88) Costume Studies I: Articles from Seams Like Old Times - Flat pattern adaption, early textiles, Renaissance interlaces and cunning cord designs, bibliography.

  6. #47 (1/90) A Primer in Calligraphy and Illumination - An introduction to the arts of calligraphy and illumination for beginners.

  7. #50 7/90 Armorial Display - Historical forms of armorial display and its use in the Society.

  8. #55 5/91 A Primer on Period Pottery - A how-to on basic pottery making.

  9. #71 1/94 Period Pastimes - Being a timeline of games with instructions and commentary on selected games played in medieval Europe.

4) Tournaments Illuminated - a quarterly magazine published for subscribing members of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

The magazine is devoted to research in all aspects of medieval society in pre-17th century Western cultures. The articles are written by members of the Society with a focus on extensive research in areas of personal interest. Each article includes a bibliography for further studies, as well as sources for materials appropriate to the topic of discussion. A comprehensive index of 'Featured Articles' are available on the Society website (click here for index of articles). Back issues of Tournaments Illuminated are available from the Stockclerk at the On-line SCA Marketplace (click here to order on-line). A small number of the articles published in Tournaments Illuminated are also available on-line.

5) Governing documents of the SCA

The governing documents of the SCA are included in the Organizational Handbook which consists of the Corpora (an outline of the framework and structure of the society), the By-Laws, Corporate Policies, and the Articles of Incorporation. Although not a prerequisite by any means, it would be useful in particular for newcomers to read Corpora so as to get a better understanding of how the society works as a whole and where everything fits into the scheme of things. The governing documents are available on the society website, and are available for download (click here).

In addition to the Organizational Handbook, each Kingdom has a set of 'Laws and Policies' that govern each aspect of SCA activities in their area. The laws and policies for the East Kingdom (which we are a part of) includes guidelines and policies for each of the principal offices, or as we refer to as 'officers", and include the Great Officers (Seneschal, Herald, Earl Marshal, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Chronicler, Minister of Arts and Sciences, Chirurgeon, Minister of Lists, Tyger Clerk of the Signet, and Chatelaine), and the Lessor Officers (Captain General of Archers, Marshal of Fence, Chamberlain, Marshal of Equestrian Activities, and Web Minister). As you become more involved in society activities, you are strongly encouraged to become familiar with those policies and guidelines applicable to your area(s) of interest. These documents are available on the East Kingdom website (click here), or they can be accessed from the Distant Shore website which includes links to both the East Kingdom and the World SCA websites (click here).

3) Articles

Several articles will be forthcoming in the near future that should be particularly helpful for the newcomer.

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