About the Craft


A Harper's Life


Events in the Harperhall


Meet the Harpers


In the Vaults

Introduction to Research

[ Class Logs ] [ Beginning Research ] Citation and Documentation ]



November 3, 2002


Archive Vault

A cool dry chamber kept sealed when not being used for research, the shelves are full of volumes of every description and subject.  Birth and death records, songs, even kitchen recipes from the last Pass can be found catalogued and stored here.  A few sturdy worktables allow for students and masters to spread out their projects in comfort.

The scent of old books and a little bit of must pervades the room, tickling your nose with antiquity.


Mimi flounces in from the Main Hall and Ballroom.

Rislyn walks in from the Main Hall and Ballroom.

Sioned walks in from the Main Hall and Ballroom.


Mimi sits on a stool at the short end of a worktable in the archives, looking thoroughly bored as any apprentice put to copying. A random book is plucked from a nearby shelf and flipped through, a slight sigh escaping her lips as she waits for her apprentices to appear.


Niara is already seated at a table, her things spread out to facilitate note-taking.  Journeyman Mimi is given a respectful nod as she enters, while the rest of her classmates receive grins and waves.


Rislyn finds a spot away from everyone and decides to watch.


Sioned quickly enters and finds a spot at a table. She places her things neatly around her and looks around. She waves back to the other student and smiles. She looks up and waits for class to start


Mimi attempts to put on a more cheerful face as she flips the book shut, placing it on the table in front of her. She drags her stool over to Niara and Sioned's table and drops back onto it, "Afternoon." A hand is waved around in a dramatic flourish, "These are...the archives. And that's what our class today is going to be about. So. To be simple and start off. How about telling me what the archives are?"


Sioned smiles "A system of keeping accurate records for anything and everything." and she smiles at the teacher.


Niara merely nods to reinforce Sioned's answer, her hand poised to scribble every word Mimi has to say on the subject.


Mimi nods to Sioned, "Yes, yes. Anything and everything is correct. There're recipes, songs, laws, official documents...Everything." She shifts around on her stool - speaking of recipes...What shall she have for lunch tod- Anyways. Archives may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but they're important. "Alright. So there must be a way of keeping all these things organized. So that's what we're going to talk about today."


Sioned nods. "What extent does it go back to, like when is the fist date recorded?" and she watches the teacher carefully.


Niara draws her elbow up to table-top, propping it up to rest her chin on her palm. "And why so much stuff?  I mean, why things like recipes?"\


Mimi taps her fingers on her knee as she considers Sioned's question, "Well, our archives here on Ista aren't the most extensive archives on Pern, but we have a good bit of history here." Why things like recipes? She cocks her head to the side, trying to come up with a scenario, "Well...It's important to keep record of everything. What if...A baker in a small hold came up with a /wonderful/ recipe...And it was copied by a harper and sent to our archives. Then there was a fire in the hold's kitchen...Or the baker was killed. The recipe wouldn't be lost forever. Knowledge is /key/." Why? Just /because/. "Anyways. The hierarchy of the archives. Very useful to know when you're researching things, so you might want to take notes. First of all, things are divided under three main categories of Hold, Craft, or Weyr."


Sioned does as she is told and jots down what she says, keeping it nice and clean. "Right does it go like that or are each are as important as the other?" and she pauses writing for a moment.


Mimi points towards the far corner of the archives, "Well those shelves over there are weyrs, these in the middle," a hand is waved towards the next set of shelves, "Are craft...and so forth." Eyebrow raised to Sio, "Mmkay?" Without really waiting for an affirmation from the apprentice she continues, "Now under that, the holds, crafts, or weyrs, are arranged alphabetically. So...Under the hold category, you would find Benden Hold before Fort Hold ."


Niara nods, sticking the tip of her tongue out in concentration as she scribbles furiously.


Sioned nods and jots down some notes also.


Mimi taps her fingers as she stares off into a corner as she speaks, almost automatically, "Then things go in chronological order. Oh, except reallyreallyreally old stuff, like you were talking about, Sio, they're kept in a special section of the archives."


Sioned nods and looks up from her notes. "So as each are put up, such as crafts. The first one crated is first and so on, to holds, and weyrs?" and she looks down at her notes then looks back up, "But what about the minor holds?"


Mimi looks slightly confused at the question for a moment, then clarifies, "Oh, sorry. Not in order of founding, but in order of when the record you're looking for is from. Oh, and the last level is subjects, which are in alphabetical order. So, if you wanted to find crop records for Benden Hold for the 6th Interval, you would go to the Holds section, find Benden Hold, find the 6th interval, and then find the 'C's for Crop records"


Niara looks up, puzzled. "So are the crafts and weyrs in chronological or alphabetical order?"


Sioned nods and jots that nugget of information down. "Okay." and she takes a look at her notes which have not turned out as neat as she would have liked but decides they are fine. She looks up at the next question and waits.


Mimi is apparently not to good at explaining things - order has never been her strong point. "Okay. In the crafts section, Baker would come before Harper. And under Baker the fourth pass would come before the seventh pass. And under the fourth pass, a recipe for Herdbeast would come before a recipe for Wherry. Same for the weyrs, just...In weyr-terms."


Sioned lifts an eyebrow. "Okay." and she sighs and writes it down too.


Mimi impatiently drums her fingers and suddenly stands up, "Okay. Assignment is...Pick a topic of your choice, anywhere in the archives. Do a couple pages of research. And then a page that summarizes your research methods." Solemn nod.


Logfile from Niara





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