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Annotated Bibliography

Albion Swords Ltd. LLC. (2005). Basic sword terminology. Retrieved February 8, 2009,
from http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/sword-terms.htm

As indicated by its title, this web document provides a list of sword terminology (with definitions for each term) for three major areas: sword anatomy, functionalities of a sword, and sword steel. Since the terms are presented in a list, it was very convenient to skim through and pick out candidate terms to be included in the LEMoN Armoury Thesaurus. The definitions are practical not only for clarification of a term’s meaning, but they often cross-reference to other terms on the list and point out equivalence, hierarchical and associative relationships among various terms.

Angel Sword Store. (n.d.). Sword & smithing glossary. Retrieved February 8, 2009, from http://www.angelswordstore.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=36&Itemid=69

This source is located on the website of a company that makes and sells swords.  The online glossary deals with both sword terms and process-based (smithing) terms.  The source is specific to swords, but includes a variety of swords in its purview; it clumps together terms referring alternately to parts of swords, types of swords, and the major processes involved in swordmaking.  Term relationships are unspecified, and no headings or sections titles have been used to group terms logically.  Nevertheless, this source offered a coherent, descriptive source of terms that were directly related to the subset of swords and aspects we chose to pursue.  The glossary could be described as a sort of specialized natural vocabulary, since it does not function within the limitations of a controlled vocabulary and is offered more to educate site visitors than to support accuracy in reference or retrieval.

The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts (ARMA). (n.d.). Definitions & study terminology. http://www.thearma.org/terms4.htm

ARMA is "an educational non-profit organization dedicated to the study and practice of historical fencing and the exploration and promotion of our Western martial heritage."  In line with this mission, the introduction to the ARMA terminology list says that it provides general definitions and is "intended to aid students in study and dispel some of the many myths and misconceptions surrounding the subject."  The list employs very broad categories (e.g., Medieval Swords) with background information in mini-essay format.  These detailed descriptions include information on the origin, appearance, and function of various swords, as well as on the predominant usage of various swords by geographic region.  The origin and alternative forms of a number of terms are also described, as are various design features and the reasons these differences came about.  Entries become more specific by sword type (e.g., The Broadsword).  This source occasionally disambiguates similar terms, but it does not note relationships between terms; neither does it offer "see also" references for RTs.  Two main section headings are used: "Medieval & Renaissance Sword Forms and Companion Implements" and "Sword Parts."  The section on sword parts includes major components as well as compound descriptors (e.g., complex-guard) referring to parts made of more than one smaller part.  Since we could not derive term relationships directly, we used this source as a point of comparison for frequency of candidate terms, as well as for general background information on sword types (thus giving us information about relationships indirectly).

Barringtons Swords. (2005). Scottish arms. Retrieved February 12, 2009,
from http://www.barringtons-swords.co.uk/scottish_arms.htm

Barringtons Swords website is an online store which sells replicas of weapons and fantasy bric-a-brac. It was helpful because it provided detailed descriptions and terminology about “Scottish Arms” which included 8 types of Scottish swords, 3 daggers and 1 sword accessory. The use of online stores was challenging due to the accuracy of the information. Because this company’s main goal is to generate profit and not provide accurate historic information, details had to be cross-checked to ensure consistency and accuracy.

Beghtol, C. (1986, June). Bibliographic classification theory and text
linguistics: Aboutness analysis, intertextuality and the cognitive act of
classifying documents. Journal of Documentation 42, 84-113.

Blair, C., & Tarassuk, L. (1982). The complete encyclopedia of arms & weapons : The most comprehensive reference work ever published on arms and armor from prehistoric times to the present--with over 1,250 illustrations. New York: Simon and Schuster.

This comprehensive reference book has an extensive list of different types and parts of different swords, their history and development. This reference book has numerous illustrations detailing different blade and hilt types along with their parts. While the scope of this book is weapons from prehistoric to modern times, it does contain a lengthy entry on the topic of swords and bladed weapons. The Complete Encyclopedia of Arms & Weapons is published by Simon and Shuster, New York and should be considered an authoritative text on weapons and swords in general. 

It was particularly useful, in the development of our thesaurus, for verifying the definitions of terms and in the development of scope notes.

By The Sword, Inc. (2009). Scotland the Brave. Retrieved February 14, 2009, from http://www.bytheswordinc.com/acatalog/Scotland.html

 This is a section of the online catalogue showing items available for purchase from By the Sword, Inc., whose products focus on medieval and Renaissance weaponry and related accessories. The section “Scotland the Brave” is specific to the domain of the LEMoN Armoury Thesaurus and showcases many Scottish swords. The product descriptions were a useful reference to help the project team decide on the aspects to be included in the thesaurus, preferred terms, and relationships among the parts of a sword. The images certainly acted as supportive visual aid in our understanding of the chosen domain.

Chin, A., (moderator) (2002). Sword forum international: Swords of different cultures and time periods. Retrieved February 13, 2009, from  http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=34440

This web forum is designed for beginner or amateur sword enthusiasts. Although, the website has a commercial component to it, the function of the site is to provide a forum for the information about swords and sword collecting. The focus of the forum is not restricted to Scottish swords, but includes swords from all over the world, nor is it restricted to any particular time period.

The usefulness of this site, with regard to the development of our thesaurus is the glossary of commonly used terms. Given the nature of the site, the glossary may not have the authority of some print sources, but it is a moderated forum and like Wikipedia, which is also user edited, it likely has a high degree of accuracy. A useful feature of this glossary is the inclusion of terms for collecting as well as for different types and parts of swords. While we did not use these elements of the glossary in this phase of thesaural development, it may be used as a source of terminology in future revisions and/or expansions of the thesaurus.

Glasgow Museums. (n.d.). Arms and armour at Glasgow Museums: Three swords, Scottish, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. RL Scott bequest and Glasgow Museums purchase. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from http://www.glasgowmuseums.com/showExhibition.cfm?venueid=0&itemid=74&Showid=52&slideid=14

Glasgow Museums. (n.d.). Arms and armour at Glasgow Museums: Scottish two-handed sword or 'Claidheamh da laimh.' Retrieved February 12, 2009, from http://www.glasgowmuseums.com/showExhibition.cfm?venueid=0&itemid=74&Showid=52&slideid=15#slide

Glasgow Museums. (n.d.). Arms and armour at Glasgow Museums: Longsword or 'halflang' sword of circa 1400. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from http://www.glasgowmuseums.com/showExhibition.cfm?venueid=0&itemid=74&Showid=52&slideid=16#slide

The Glasgow Museum’s website provides a slideshow of images from its collection of European arms and armour, some of which were a selection of Scottish medieval swords. The above universal resource locators link to three images of Scottish swords which date from the 15th and 16th centuries. Not only did these resources provide descriptions of different types of Scottish swords, sword names and their variants, they also described the sword design types and blade-making processes. A limitation of this resource is that only 3 different types of Scottish swords were described.

Historical Weapons.com. (2004). Medieval and Renaissance swords and daggers terminology. Retrieved February 8, 2009, from http://www.historicalweapons.com/swordsanddaggersterm.html

HistoricalWeapons.com offers sales of "functional battle ready swords, daggers, historical knives, full suits of armor, medieval shields and helmets [...]" in addition to books and other information about these products.  As the title of their glossary implies, this organization's term list mixes Medieval and Renaissance sword types in the same list.  (Descriptions do differentiate which is which.)  The source occasionally cites quotations from treatises or texts contemporaneous with the sword to explain the sword's use or prevalence.  This helped us gain insight on the meaning of loanwords that have been absorbed into sword terminology used by English-language speakers.  As part of the definition, the term list notes the origin of each term as well as the development of the object itself over time.  Many term descriptions indicate relationships to other weapons; however, they do not offer a shorthand method of referring to these relationships or tracking them in any way other than reading one description and then reading another in turn.  Descriptions of sword parts are mixed in with historical information.

J. Paul Getty Trust. (2000 ).Art and Architecture Thesaurus© Online. http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/aat/

The AAT was an important and authoritative reference resource for the construction of our thesaurus because it served as a guide when there was confusion about the relationship between particular terms. The AAT contains many terms related to swords, and many of the terms found in the LEMoN Armoury Thesaurus are also listed in the AAT. Scope notes also gave clarification on the definition of a number of terms during the process of selecting preferred terms to be included in our thesaurus. It was useful to have an actual controlled vocabulary to consult for the construction of the LEMoN Armoury Thesaurus.

Jones, L. A. (2001). Medieval sword glossary. Retrieved February 14, 2009, from http://www.vikingsword.com/glossary.html

With only 17 terms in total, this small medieval sword glossary is big on details. The terms listed are parts of a medieval sword. In each definition, there is detailed information on 1) the physical location of the particular part being defined, with an illustration, 2) the part’s relationship with other parts of the sword (e.g. quillion being a limb projecting from the crossguard), 3) the part’s specific function or purpose, 4) historical evolution of the part and variation in design (if applicable), 5) nicknames or lexical variants for the part, 6) common materials used for manufacturing the part (e.g. the pommel can be made of wood, bone, stone, crystal, iron or bronze), 7) and other details as relevant. All these details given in the glossary not only helped in selecting preferred terms and clarifying relationships, but also provided a basis for comparing and checking the accuracy of information with other sources at our disposal.

Medieval Ware (2007). Scottish Claymore swords. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from http://www.medievalware.com/Scottish-Great-Claymore-Sword-p/2011mk.htm

Medieval Ware is a company which sells medieval arms and amour online. It offers a web page that details a variety of Scottish Claymore swords, including images, parts of swords, historical context and terminology. A drawback to online product descriptions is that the manufacturer’s product descriptions are often duplicated and thus no unique information is provided.

The Mercenaries Medieval Combat Guild. (n.d.). Medieval weapons for beginners: Weapons glossary. Retrieved February 8, 2009, from http://www.mercwars.com/weapongloss.shtml

Another online source, the weapons glossary of the Mercenaries Medieval Combat Guild notes that its purpose is to offer a "beginner"-level weapons glossary for unfamiliar terms in personal weaponry (as opposed to siege weaponry).  The glossary's brief introduction warns that it is not exhaustive, and we have kept this in mind both when using this source and developing our thesaurus.  This source includes terms for various types of weapons, including specific types of swords; it also offers detailed descriptions of listed objects, including their origin, appearance, function, alternative names, and divergence in designs over time.  Terms have been arranged alphabetically, without groupings by heading, but the list does give "See also" references to related terms.  The relationships invoked are generally between weapons of similar style or use, or to specific types and/or instances of the term being described.  Specificity varies from broad terms (dagger) to rather specific terms (rondel dagger), but relationships are generally not described other than in context of RTs.  This source was most useful for compiling our list of candidate terms and for contextualizing technical terminology.

myArmoury.com. (2009). Collection galleries. Retrieved February 10, 2009, from http://www.myarmoury.com/collections.html

This part of the myArmoury.com website contains detailed descriptions and images of many swords, daggers and other weapons that form the personal collections of six different weapon enthusiasts. Of these collections, our team were able to make use of the pages which described Scottish swords in particular. Each sword description contained details of the physical specifications (such as Overall Length, Weight, Point of Balance, etc.) and design (such as twin fullers, wheel pommel, etc.). These personal sword collections were an important source during the process of extracting candidate terms for the LEMoN Armoury Thesaurus. As the collectors are experienced sword enthusiasts, use of their sword descriptions reflects a high level of user warrant for the Thesaurus project.

National Information Standards Organization. (2005). ANSI/NISO Z39.19 – Guidelines for the construction, format, and management of monolingual controlled vocabularies. Bethesda, MD: NISO Press.

The Guidelines provided the essential details for the entire thesaurus construction process and will definitely continue to be a useful resource in future phases of expansion of the current project. This document gave clear information that helped in the formulation of descriptors, identification of concepts and term (inter)relationships. In addition, the Guidelines also contains recommended rules which guided the LEMoN Armoury’s decisions about indexing language to be used, level of specificity, coordination, as well as other minor yet important details such as spelling and punctuation (e.g. hyphen or no hypen for multi-word terms). Having the Z39.19 was very useful in achieving consistency throughout the construction of the thesaurus.

Pierce, M. (n.d.). The medieval sword in the modern world: An examination of the renaissance of the medieval sword. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from http://books.google.com/books?id=dLpJqnUDLz4C&pg=PA75&dq=Scottish+swords+and+dirks#PPP1,M1

This e-resource was located through Google books. Chapter 10 discusses different aspects of Scottish swords and dirks including physical descriptions, terminology, images, performance characteristics, functions, and historical figures and contexts. 

Ramsay, J. (n.d.). Scotland's swords: Swords. Retrieved February 8, 2009,
from http://www.scotlands-swords.com/swords.htm

This source provides information specific to Scottish swords that proved to be very useful for clarifying term definitions and helping with the preferred term selection process. The most useful aspect of this source is the clear classification of Scottish sword categories (i.e. Claymores, broadswords, signature swords, etc.), which was important in establishing relationships between terms in the thesaurus.

Scottish Sword & Shield. (2009). The swords and knives. Retrieved February 8, 2009,
from http://www.scottishsword.com/TheSwords.htm

This page has information on both swords and knives. Our team was interested only in swords for the current thesaurus project, so we did not use any of the information about knives. The part about swords is divided into subsections according to the type of Scottish sword (antique swords, basket-hilt broadswords, highland Claymores, and antique militaria or regimental swords). Within each sword category, a short but informative description of the sword’s history and distinctive characteristics is given.  Many of the terms which were later selected to be preferred terms were originally extracted from this source.

Seago, D. (1999). The weapons and fighting methods of the Highland Scots. Sword Forum International. Retrieved February 8, 2009, from http://swordforum.com/articles/hes/highlandscots.php

This article was authored for Sword Forum International, an enthusiast organization for swords of different cultures and time periods.  (The Sword Forum International website offers a modest collection of articles on various historical time periods, figures, and objects relating to swords and swordsmanship.)
The article itself offers a discursive on "the historical swordsmanship and warfare practices of the Scottish Highlanders".  Terms occurring in this article were derived from natural language; therefore, we relied upon literary warrant in using this source.  It proved useful in that we wanted to pull terms from a longer discussion on sword types, development, in turn comparing these to glossary-type terms.  The headings assigned here are topical, since this is an article, and include things like cultural influences, major conflicts, and the weapons used therein.  This source offered us the opportunity to build familiarization with the topic while discovering new terms and situating them contextually with other found terms.  Exhaustivity was not emphasized in this source, though specificity was used when it served to support the overall discussion.

Swords Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2009, from http://www.swords-guide.com/claymore.html

The Swords Guide website is an online manual that was created to assist novices in their selection and purchase of swords. It was used to understand the terminology of the recreational swords industry. A better understanding of Claymore swords, e.g. dimensions, parts, their function and purpose, sword users and historical figures, was developed. However, the Claymore sword was the only sword type that was described.

Swords of valor: Purveyors of fine weaponry - swords, axes, shields, Katanas, and more. (2007). Retrieved February 13, 2009, from http://www.swordsofvalor.com/swordterminology.html

This is a commercial website which has provided customers with a glossary of sword related terms. While the website does not list the sources used in the production of their glossary nor the person(s) responsible for its creation, there is a high degree of agreement in the terms used and their respective definitions between this site and other, more authoritative sources which we consulted. This site is particularly useful in that it is similar to the LEMoN Armoury and the terms found in the glossary are among the terms used in the LEMoN Armoury Thesaurus.

Wallace, J. (1970). Scottish swords and dirks; an illustrated reference guide to Scottish edged weapons. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books.

This illustrated monograph details the various types of Cross-hilt and Basket-hilt Scottish swords from the fifteenth through nineteenth centuries. It provides information on the creation, use, and historical significance of the various types of Scottish swords. Additionally, the monograph has many illustrations/photos of Scottish swords over the centuries with details such as sword type, overall length, blade length, provenance, hilt construction, and other important design features, including the marks of prominent sword makers, which is of particular interest for historians, curators, and collectors. Although, this is a short monograph (80 pages) devoted to both swords and dirks, approximately 2/3 of the text is devoted to swords. This text is useful for providing an introduction to the topic and for providing numerous, detailed illustrations of authentic, historical swords for modern sword makers to consult.

Of particular use for the development of our thesaurus are the descriptions of various types of swords and their parts. The terminology used here was cross-referenced with our other sources to establish the frequency and importance of various sword related terms during the selection of our preferred terms.

Wilkinson-Latham, J. (1971). British cut and thrust weapons (1st ed.). Rutland, Vermont: Charles Tuttle Company.

While this book does not focus exclusively on Scottish swords, they do fall under the larger term of British cut and thrust weapons and are therefore covered in this book. This text provides detailed diagrams of the parts of the blade and hilt; useful to those just learning about swords and other bladed weapons. Rather than focus on sword types (i.e. Claymores, Rapiers, etc.), this book categorizes swords based on their respective function, such as cavalry swords, infantry swords, officer’s swords, etc. The characteristics of each type of sword are given along with photographs and diagrams showing exploded views of the sword/hilt construction. It also includes appendices on sword making and sword makers, which provides insights into the information that our users would wish displayed in this thesaurus. 

Image Credits

All banners and logos are original designs, created using CorelDraw 9.

All clip art images are from CorelDraw 9.

The background image "metal009.jpg" is from http://www.grsites.com.

The background images "parch.jpg" and "parch3.jpg" are files used with the following book:

Carey, P. (2005). New perspectives HTML and XHTML 4th ed. Boston, Massachusetts; Thomson Course Technology.


Top of Page
The LEMoN Armoury Thesaurus
LIBR 512: Indexing, School of Library, Archival and Information Studies,
University of British Columbia.
Lina Ma, Erin Abler, Melissa Chance, and Neil MacDonald
March 16th, 2009
Copyright 2009.