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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we have to have warrants?
Warranting involves the shocking procedure of collecting your contact info (so we know where to find you), and assessing your scribal experience (so we can help you succeed on your assignments). Similar to a "Fighter's Card", an exemplar shows us that as a scribe, you are not a danger to yourself or others. Finally, it shows that you understand and agree to abide by College rules, which allows us to all work together happily.

Separate arrangements outside the College have to be made for
replacement scrolls.

Hmmm? Why? Accidents happen. Sometimes a scroll is lost or irreparably damaged. There is no reason why a recipient cannot apply to the College for a replacement, all signed, sealed and
legal. However, it would be disrespectful to the scribe who did a scroll (as well as the Signet who found it "suitable" and the Royalty who signed it) for a recipient to just say "I don't like
my scroll and I demand another." We rely on the honor and courtesy of our populace to make the distinction.

I thought you did some quality control. Why do you let beginners
work on peerage scrolls?!

While it is certainly the norm, there is no rule that a beginner has to start with an AoA. And even if it was a rule, all assignments are subject to review on a case-by-case basis. If
you've never done a scroll before but your squire is getting knighted, we can work something out. We are here to facilitate the process - to help make sure everyone – the royalty, the
scribe and the recipient are happy with the result. The bottom line is: the basic rules are just the place to start. If you want to do something outside the norm, talk it over with the
responsible Signet.

The College's standards of "suitable" art are too high.
The College doesn't actually have any published standards of "suitable" art. "Suitable" is necessarily subjective. What is suitable in one case is not suitable in another.

The College makes every effort to make sure that certain minimum levels are achieved. These minimum levels have more to do with the long-term preservation of the document than with it's
artistic value. We try to ensure that the materials used for the scrolls are of a lasting value so that the scroll can be enjoyed for years to come - commensurate with the time it took the
scribe to produce it.

The scroll texts are too restrictive.
The scroll texts are intended to ensure that all official information is included, in as "forsooth" a manner as possible. As long as these goals are met, the texts should be considered
guidelines - we realize that scroll design may require you to compress or expand the text, and you are free to do so as long as required elements are there and the content is truthful (no
claims as to the recipient's accomplishments that aren't factual).

The College's standard scroll requirements are too limiting.
The only hard and fast requirements for scrolls are those that have to do with it being an official document. Everything else is guidelines, and therefore negotiable. But so we don't have to
negotiate every little thing every time, we call them "standard". Just like buying something off the store shelf in a standard size, that doesn't mean you can't have something custom. The bottom line is: the basic rules are just the place to start. If you want to do something outside the norm, talk it
over with the responsible Signet.

The College throws away perfectly good art.
While very few scrolls are ever "bounced", it does happen. If the required information is found to be incorrect by either the College of Scribes or by the College of Heralds but it can be fixed, the College will return the scroll to the scribe for repairs - and provide training on how to do that, if needed. If the scroll cannot be fixed it is simply returned to the scribe with an explanation of why, and suggestions on how to avoid the problem in the future.

Lots of scribes take cash under the table, or they take barter and call it a gift.
This is a very offensive rumor that, as nearly as I can tell, is completely untrue. Scribes, like all SCA participants, are believed to and expected to act with honor and courtesy. If anyone knows of someone routinely doing this, please see me privately.

Why doesn't the College hold more scriptoria?
Well, (the College asks) why don't you come when we hold them? Give us some feedback on how/where/when we could structure scriptoria to make these work in your case. And volunteer your home/time to hold one!

Why doesn't the College offer more training?
We are working on it, based on our best guess about what you would like. What/how/when would you like to see provided?

Is scribing an art or a service?
Yes. Or as Viscount Alvar said when Prince of Cynagua, “Illumination and Calligraphy are art. Scribing is service”.

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