The SCA has no requirements for authenticity--according to the rules of the organization, "a reasonable attempt" at medieval costume is all that's required for attendance. Among the participants in the SCA (approximately 100,000 worldwide) there are widely varying levels of knowledge and interest in medieval customs, craft, and culture.
In the SCA, heralds are responsible for helping members of the organization research and develop names and armory for use in SCA activity. The Academy is a group of SCA heralds who are interested in doing historical research and making it accessible to the SCA members and others.
This connection with the SCA explains some peculiarities of the material. A number of references come from material published by the SCA, notably the monograph series "Compleat Anachronist" and the annual "Proceedings of the Known World Heraldic Symposium." The authors of some works have used their SCA psuedonyms, as have some members of the Academy. Please bear with some of the unusual citations; if you're interested in looking up an SCA source, you can get help by mailing the Academy.
Last updated May 4, 1999