Welcome to Heraldica!

This page is an introduction to Heraldica and explains what you can find on this Web site.

1. What is Heraldica?

Heraldica means "things heraldic" (literally) or "heraldry" in Latin. Although most of this site is in English, there is information on many different heraldic traditions. The choice of a name in Latin, which was the international language of Western Europe for so long, is intended to convey this international flavor.

This site contains a variety of information on heraldry and related topics, in the form of texts, images and links. The collection is constantly being expanded. There are currently (July 2002) about 600 different pages totalling 10Mb (almost all written by me) and 2100 images totalling 38Mb. The total size of the server is about 160Mb and monthly traffic is 12Gb; daily hits average over 9,000.

The site is organized into articles, collected by themes (see the table of contents).

The information is provided for your entertainment and knowledge.

Heraldry is a hobby of mine, and I maintain and improve this site in my spare time. Nothing is perfect, and this site is no exception: there are lacunae and errors, and I thank the many people who have taken the time to point out mistakes I made. I welcome general questions and corrections, but I cannot personally answer questions such as "what are/where can I find my arms?" (see below).

2. How this site came about

A bit of history. This heraldry site opened in April 1995 (I fired up my Web server on December 1994; one of 10,000 at the time! There are now tens of millions of sites). Originally, the material available at this site came from discussions on the newsgroup rec.heraldry, which I have been following since its inception in September 1992. Over time, I had saved posts on a variety of subjects, for my own use; therefore I tended to save posts on topics that interested me, and I also saved mostly my own handiwork. The "Heraldry Archive" simply made these saved articles available on the Web.

Since then, I have been constantly writing new articles, and searching the Web for pictures and interesting links. The articles, unless indication to the contrary, are mine. I have also used material posted by other people, and credited them accordingly; and I welcome any material that anyone wishes to add. As time passes, I modify or add material as well as links. I attempt to give scholarly references for the material I present.

At present (Jan 2001) the front page of Heraldica is accessed 600 times daily, which indicates to me that there is a strong interest in heraldry on the Web (of those daily hits, only 7 are due to robots). I am pleased to be able to satisfy in part this interest.

3. Disclaimer

This site tries to present a lot of facts and references. In the selection and presentation of the facts, my judgments and preconceptions are bound to play a role. Furthermore, there are several controversial subjects (on regulation of heraldry, on orders of knighthood, on certain institutions or organizations) on which I express my beliefs.

The opinions are mine. Although I cite various references, sources or individuals in presenting supporting evidence, they cannot be held responsible for the opinions I hold. This disclaimer applies to the contents of the whole site.

4. Advertising on Heraldica

I am offering to interested parties the possibility of placing advertisements for their commercial sites on my Web pages. The purpose is not to make money, but to cover the high costs that I incur by maintaining this large high-traffic site.

I wish to restrict advertisements to those sites that have some kind of relation to heraldry, so that they actually might be of value to the visitors of this site. Bookstores, crafts are obvious examples. Heraldic artists are particularly welcome, of course. Such sites should also be interested in the relatively large but targeted audience.

There are many pages on Heraldica (see the Site map). Some pages might be of greater interest than others for potential advertisers. For example, bookstores might be interested in the bibliography section). Check out the site statistics to have an idea of current traffic page by page. The rates are reasonable, since I am only trying to cover my costs, not make a profit. Contact me for further information.

Advertisements are just that, not endorsements. I do not endorse anyone or anything.

5. Server Statistics

This site has been running since April 1995. Detailed statistics about page accesses are available.

6. Comments Welcome

Please do not hesitate to contest or correct what is in here. Also, please suggest topics which you would like to see covered (no guarantee that they will be, however).

But do not ask me to do genealogical research for you; this is my hobby, not my day job.

7. About Me

Copyright © 1995-98, François R. Velde

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François Velde