January 5, 2010
Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away, a friend gave me a stack of really cool magazines. It was 1996 and they had been out of print for a while. There were about twenty issues with a few missing, and though I had no idea how many, I knew this information needed to be shared.It took me a while but life finally started to settle down. I bought a computer and sat down to tackle the monumental task of retyping, scanning, and redrawing the contents of the issues, all of which were rather poor photocopies. I had just finished webbing the first issue when I was finally able to successfully contact the original publishers, Master Andras and Mistress Fuiltigherne. They gave me their blessing and sent me a complete set which included about thirty issues. As interest began to revive for Early Period, Master Andras & Mistress Fuiltigherne began to sell subscriptions again. But after seven issues, I burned out. Then in the summer of 2008, the entire website went down. I was suddenly hit with a flood of emails asking me where Early Period had gone! Unfortunately the only backup I had was from 2006 and the files had compressed, thus changing nearly all the filenames and creating coding errors. So in November 2008 I sifted through everything, fixed all the code, and the seven issues were put back up safe and sound. I do have many, many projects underway, but I am beginning to pick up a little momentum again, and pecking away a bit at a time on the issues.
Sometimes it is difficult to come across good research materials depending on the areas in which we live. Sometimes we notice little things about someone's garb that we find interesting or think "that looks neat but it probably isn't really in period" and don't ask about it, for whatever reason. Sometimes we see things and wonder what they are at all.
In addition to being a great resource for researching and learning about your own persona, Early Period is also a great way to learn about other cultures as well, which is what the SCA is all about. Now when you see that unusual item or piece of garb you can recognize it and instead of wondering what it is or if its period look more closely to see how it was made. It might even spark a shy person to ask about it!
A lot of time and effort goes into putting these issues online. The text does not scan well so everything is typed, and often the drawings are redrawn so that they can be clear enough to aid the article. However much more work went into actually creating the issues; the original authors, artists and publishers have given priceless effort so that the rest of us might be enlightened and have a better SCA experience overall. It is to these people I deliver my heartfelt thanks.
In Service I remain,
Ceara ní Néill