Sword Documentation Project

The Oakeshott Institute would like to invite those involved in sword research and collecting to participate in our documentation project. The objective is to build a database of sword information for the benefit of collectors and scholars of the sword. The information collected in this project will allow a far greater understanding of the diversity and development of the sword than is now possible. We would like to thank those private collectors who have already been so generous in this project. Their contributions are essential in making this a comprehensive and useful resource. We understand the need for the confidentiality of the private collector and their anonymity will be guaranteed.


oakeshott sword documentation

Historical Sword Documentation Project

This is a suggested profile for documenting a sword. This list should be looked at as a tool to help gather and record information on specific swords. It should be understood that the individual circumstances of each piece might make it impossible to gather all the details on a given sword. Where condition and circumstances allow the suggested specifications will give a good detailed record of the item for future study and comparison.

Inspecting swords for the details suggested should be accomplished with the utmost care and attention to conservation standards. Protection and conservation of the item should be the foremost concern. Permission from the item’s guardian should be procured prior to any handling and measurement of the piece.

General Dimensions

Overall Length:
Blade Length quillon block to tip:
Balance point from quillon block:
Center of percussion:

Blade dimensions

Blade Width at quillon block:
Blade Width at midpoint :
Blade Width 2 inches from tip:
Blade Thickness at quillon block:
Blade Thickness at midpoint:
Blade Thickness 2 inches from tip:

Fuller Length:
Fuller Width:
Ricasso Length quillon block to blade bevel:
Ricasso Width at quillon block:
Ricasso Thickness at quillon block:

Blade Angle of taper from Mid point to edge:
Edge geometry:
Edge sharpness angle:

Hilt Dimensions

Grip Length:
Quillon Width:
Quillon Height at center:
Quillon Thickness at center:
Pommel Width:
Pommel Height:
Pommel Thickness:

Pommel type:
Guard type:
Hilt family or type:

Physical description and condition notes:

Describe any marks or inscriptions or remains there of:


An overall photo and several detail photos are suggested. A view of each axis of the hilt and any mark or inlay details in the blade should be documented. The more photos taken, the better and we suggest including a scale or ruler for size comparison.