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The Alcuin Society
Vancouver, British Columbia
Grant of Arms, Supporters, Flag and Badge
June 15, 2007
Vol. V, p. 145
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Per chevron Azure and Argent in chief two open books Argent edged Or and in base a handpress Azure;
Issuant from a circlet of maple leaves Or and dogwood flowers Argent, a demi-sixteenth-century pressman affronty proper habited Azure holding in the dexter hand a composing stick and in the sinister hand a punch Or;
Two owls Or each gorged with a collar Azure pendent therefrom a hurt, that to the dexter charged with a quill and a knife in saltire Or, that to the sinister charged with a rose Argent, standing on a rocky mound proper above barry wavy Azure and Argent;
BONI LIBRI BENE CONFECTI;
The chevron division represents an “A”, referring to the initial letter of the Society’s name and the scholar and scribe after whom it is named. The hand press symbolizes the production of fine books, while the books themselves refer to writing, publishing, reading, book collecting, book binding and the encouragement of the arts associated with literature.
The maple leaves and dogwood refer to the Society’s foundation in Vancouver and its outreach in Canada. The compositor is a version of an emblem that the Society has used for many years and refers to the complex intellectual work required in the early period of hand press printing.
The owls represent wisdom and learning. The quill and the knife are the traditional tools of the calligrapher and refer to Alcuin’s pivotal role in the creation of new letterforms that are the basis of good communication. The rocks symbolize the firm foundation on which the Society is built, and the wavy bars the waters around Vancouver, where it was established, as well as a principal medium for the creation of fine papers.
This means “Good books well made”, a summary of key elements of the Society’s philosophy: the beauty of good books and all the crafts and arts which are involved in their creation and production and the many pleasures books give.