Officers of arms are often commissioned to try to identify coats of arms and crests. Frequently this work is carried out for museums, auctioneers, and antique dealers so that the provenance of an object may be established. Private individuals also commission such research. The College holds an extensive series of pictorial indices to the armorial devices in its official records, together with numerous other sources both printed and manuscript which assist in making identifications.
Any person wishing to have arms identified should first either bring to the officer in waiting at the College the object on which they appear, or send an illustration, preferably a photograph. It will then be possible to quote a fee for trying to identify the arms.