October 20th, 2006

Tall ships (porthole)

Of Heraldry, Blazon and library punchcards

My degree involves a final year project of some sort. Myself, being the silly fellow I am, I've decided to do an interpreter for Blazon, the language used in Heraldry (not to be confused with Blason, a form of romantic poetry).

This basically involves me writing a program to take a definition in Blazon, work out if it makes sense, and produce a machine-friendly version of it. Some other poor sod is writing the Prusivant-o-matic, which takes a machine-friendly definition in some form and renders it.

Now, not knowing much about heraldry and blazon I of course had to go look it up. And guess what keywords don't return anything helpful in the university catalogue?

Heraldry, and Blazon.

Not to be outdone by a jumped-up database index, I resorted to looking for "herald", and then wandering round the library. Which led to section CR 21, and books so old that they contain the punchcards from a prior indexing system.

And I've now found A Complete Guide to Heraldry (CR 21 Fox), a geniune 650-page tome of a book. *reads*

Hmm, someone seems to have pressed a couple of leaves between pages 20 and 21.