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Heraldry Proficiency Program - Bibliography

Sources upon which the previous examinations have principally relied have been set out in bold text below. The interested student of heraldry is encouraged to consult a wider range of references and heraldic texts, particularly in preparation for the Intermediate Level Examination.

Although many of the books have been published some time ago, some are still in print. Many are available as used copies available for purchase through your local community antiquarian book-seller or alternatively from on-line retailers at,, or .

Research libraries at major universities have significant collections of Heraldic textbooks and reference materials that may be available to community readers or through inter-library loan. Inquire at your local library. As an example The Alberta Library Online at lists 1826 heraldic references available through Alberta libraries.

The library of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada has been made available to members. The Royal Heraldry Society of Canada has made a substantial donation of heraldic references to the National Archives of Canada Library. These are being made available for inter-library loan to Society members. The list of books donated to the National Archives Library is maintained on: archive listing. Contact the Society to learn of this and other membership benefits.

The courses are designed to be guided self-study. You are encouraged to consult both Internet and library based resources widely.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, it may be possible for candidates to obtain help preparing for the examinations through individual instruction from members of the Society or through informal tutorials or lectures organized by the individual branches. Please contact your local Branch for details. 

The following texts may be seen as a recommended reading list for students of the Heraldic Proficiency Course. 

English Bibliography

   A Canadian Heraldic Primer, Kevin Greaves, The Heraldry Society of Canada, 2000 (available from the Society)
   An Heraldic Alphabet, J.P. Brooke-Little, Robson Books, 1985
   A New Dictionary of Heraldry, Stephen Friar, ed., Alphabooks A&C Black, London, 1987
   Boutell's Heraldry, C. W. Scott-Giles ( rev.) (various editions)
   Canadian Heraldry, Alan Beddoe, Mika Publishing Co., Belleville, Ont., 1981 (available in CD format from the Society)
   Heraldry: A Canadian Perspective & Context, I.L. Campbell (available from the publisher)
   Basic Heraldry, Stephen Friar & John Ferguson, Bramley Books, 1993
   Canada: Symbols of Sovereignty, C. Swan, U of T Press
   A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies
   Shield and Crest, J. Franklyn, Macgiggon & Kee, 1960
   Heraldic Design, Heather Child, Bell & Hyman, London, 1965
   Elvin's Dictionary of Heraldry, C.N. Elvin, Heraldry Today
   The Art of Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies
   Scots Heraldry, Sir Thomas Innes of Learney, Johnston & Bacon, Edinburgh, 1978
   Heraldry, Customs, Rules and Styles, C.A. von Volborth, Blanford Press, Dorset, 1981
   The Art of Heraldry, C.A. von Volborth, Tiger Books International, London, 1991
    Heraldry in Canada (various editions with a particular reference to Volume XXIX no. 2 - June 1995)


French Bibliography

   CRAMPTON, William, "Drapeaux et pavillons", Paris, Gallimard, 1989
   D'HAUCOURT, Geneviéve et Georges Durivault, "Le Blason", 5e èd., Paris, Presses universitaires de France, 1970, << Que sais-je >> n0 336, 128 p. Aperçu complet des rudiments de l'hèraldique.
   GALBREATH, D.L. et Lèon Jèquier, "Manuel du Blason", Lausanne, èditions Spes, 1977, 344 p., ISBN 2-602-00042-6. ètudes avancèes.
   HEIM, Bruno Bernard, "Coutumes et Droit hèraldiques de l'èglise", Paris, Beauchesne, 1949, 200 p. L'un des rares ouvrages en langue française disponible sur le sujet.
   JOUBERT, Pierre, Nouveau guide de l'hèraldique, Rennes, èditions Ouest-France, 1984, 92 p., ISBN. 2-85882-704-4. Magnifiquement illustrè, bon pour le dèbutant.
   MATHIEU, Rèmi, "Le Systéme hèraldique français", Paris, J.B. Janin, 1946, << La roue de fortune >>, 312 p. ètudes avancèes.
   MORIN, Victor, "Traitè d'art hèraldique", Montrèal, Librairie Beauchemin Limitèe, 1919, 409 p. Un peu vieillot, mais le glossaire donne des prècisions qu'on retrouve difficilement ailleurs.
   NEUBECKER, Ottfried, "Le grand livre de l'hèraldique", Traduction et adaptation française de Roger Harmignies, Bruxelles, Elsevier Sèquoia, 1977, 288 p. Contient, entre autres, un chapitre sur les brisures et les augmentations.
   PASTOUREAU, Michel, "Traitè d'hèraldique", 2e èd., Paris, Picard èditeur, 1993, << grands manuels Picard >>, 408 p., ISBN 2-7084-0413-X. Une ètude moderne offrant les derniéres recherches sur des points controversès.
   PASTOUREAU, Michel, "Figures de l'hèraldique", Paris, Gallimard, 1996, 144p.
   THIèBAUD, Jean-Marie, "Dictionnaire des termes du Blason", Besançon, èditions Cêtre, 1994, 215 p., I.S.B.N.2-87823-039-0. Bon petit dictionnaire, a le mèrite de prèciser le genre des termes.
   VEYRIN-FORRER, "Prêcis d'hèraldique", Larousse, 2000, 198 p.
   VOLBORTH, Carl-Alexander von, "L'Art hèraldique", Styles et Formes, Traduction et adaptation française de Roger Harmignies, Bruxelles, Hervè Duchamp, 1982, << Fèdèration gènèalogique et hèraldique de Belgique, cahier no 1 >>, 132 p. ètude comparative des styles. Nous recommandons au débutant de consulter d'abord des encyclopèdies comme le Dictionnaire encyclopèdique Quillet.

La Bibliothéque numèrique de la Bibliothéque nationale de France - Gallica maintains an extraordinary free resource of more 100 digitized and downloadable (in .pdf or image formats) books  of interest to heraldists including, textbooks, blazonry guides, armorials and treatises on specific subjects. Visit to browse their collection. The books are all now in the Public Domain for private study.