UESPWiki:Style Guide/Book Layout

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The text of most books is kept in the Lore namespace, which is where general information about the lore of the Elder Scrolls games is documented. This organization was chosen because many books are common to multiple games, and even for books that only appear in one game, the text will often be of broader interest. The Lore text is then transcluded into game-specific copies of each book; the game-specific pages include details such as ID, price, weight, and locations.

Therefore, when adding a new book to the site, you should first check whether the book already exists in the Lore namespace. If so, all that needs to be done is create a game-specific copy of the book. For example, to create a Skyrim-specific version of the book Beggar, you would create a page at [[Skyrim:Beggar]] using the following layout:

{{Book Summary
|skill=    <!-- Name of skill, if this book is a skill book -->
|id=       <!-- The book's ID (from the Creation Kit) -->
|weight=   <!-- The book's weight -->
|value=    <!-- The value (gold) of the book -->
|loc=      <!-- Guaranteed location(s) where the book can be found (unless the book is very common) -->

The resulting page will look similar to the Oblivion version of the book.

If the book does not yet exist on the site, its text will need to first be added to the Lore namespace, as detailed in the remainder of this article.

Details of Book Layout[edit]

Name of Page[edit]

The name of a book's page will be of the format:

[[Lore:Book Name]]

The page name should exactly match the title as displayed in the character's inventory, even for book titles that start with "A" or "The". For example "The Book Title" and "A Book Title" would have page names:

[[Lore:The Book Title]]
[[Lore:A Book Title]]

Some of the complications that can occur with book names:

  • If the name of the book is the same as another article (such as Thief), then "(book)" should be added to the page title. See Oblivion:Thief (book) for an example.
  • Some books use one title that is displayed in the character's inventory, but then have another title shown inside the book. The page name should use the title as displayed in the character's inventory. In these cases, a note on the book page may be appropriate to prevent confusion (e.g., Lore:Mythic Dawn Commentaries).
  • Some books have had different titles in different games. As long as the text of the book is identical (or nearly identical), only one page is needed for the book. Generally the existing page for the book should continue to be used, but a redirect should be created for any other titles used (e.g., Lore:How Orsinium Passed to the Orcs, Lore:How Orsinium Passed to the Orcs). A note on the book page can explain the multiple titles; the multiple titles also need to be documented in the Book Summary template. The game-specific pages should always use the book's title as it appears in that game.
  • In more complex situations, decisions probably need to be made on a case by case basis. In general, if the text of two books differs by more than a few words, the two books should have separate pages, but be cross-referenced. An example of a particularly complex set of books is the Queen Barenziah series: Lore:The Real Barenziah, Lore:The Real Barenziah (Daggerfall), Lore:Biography of Queen Barenziah, Lore:Biography of Queen Barenziah (Daggerfall).

Book Summary Template[edit]

The Book Summary template is where information such as the book's author and description are documented. For full information on the template options, see the template's documentation. The usage of this template is slightly different depending upon whether it is being used on the Lore version of a book or on the game-specific version of the book.

On Lore pages, the book summary should provide the book's author and description, as well as a list of games in which the book has appeared. For example, if the book appeared in Oblivion (OB) and Skyrim (SR):

{{Book Summary
|author=Author's name
|description=A one-phrase description of the book.

The provided author and description are shown on the Lore book page; they are also automatically displayed on any game-specific versions of the book, and on any pages listing the book. Furthermore, the template will cause links to the game-specific versions of the book to be displayed on the lore page. If the name of the book is different in one of the games, then slightly different parameters should be used. For example, to provide a different Skyrim title, SRName=Skyrim title of book should be used in place of SR=yes.

On game pages, the book summary should include any available game-specific details, such as the ID, gold value, and weight. For example,

{{Book Summary
|lorename=How Orsinium Passed to the Orcs   -- only necessary if the Lore name of the book is different from the game-specific name
|skill=Heavy Armor                           -- if the book is a skill book
|loc=*[[Oblivion:Bruma|Bruma]] Castle Lords Manor, on a desk

Note that the book author and description are not generally needed on game-specific pages -- the values from the Lore page will automatically be used on the game-specific page.


The text of all books should be entered exactly as it appears in the game. The easiest way to do this is generally to cut and paste from the Creation Kit / Construction Set. If you don't have access to the Creation Kit, it is possible to manually type in the text, but take care to enter the information accurately.

Any typographical errors in the book should be preserved. If you wish to make it clear that the typo comes from the original source, add {{sic}} after the misspelled word. If other issues with the text need clarification, generally that should be done in a note at top or bottom of the page. If notes must be added within the text, they should always be italicized and enclosed in square brackets (as shown for the "sic" notation).

Although the text of the book should not be altered, the formatting generally does need to be changed, especially if the book has been cut and paste from the Creation Kit. All unnecessary html commands (<font>, <div>, etc) should be deleted. Paragraphs can be separated either using two <br> commands or with two standard line breaks.

In addition, links should be added into the book text for any words that are described elsewhere on UESP. In particular, place names, names of important people, and dates (using the format {{Year|3E 121}}) should all be turned into links.

Additional Information[edit]

If there is additional information that needs to be added to the book page, the Non Book template should be used. This template ensures that the note is displayed in a different font and can be clearly distinguished from the actual book text. Furthermore, it is customary to italicize the note, and separate it from the rest of the book content with a horizontal line.

For example:

{{Non Book|''This is where the text of a note about the book would be provided''}}

Multi-volume Books[edit]

A separate page should be created for each volume of a book that appears in a game, but with additional navigation to make it easy to locate the other volumes. In addition, an overall page for the book should be created that displays all of the volumes. For an example, see Lore:Brief History of the Empire, Lore:Brief History of the Empire v 1, Lore:Brief History of the Empire v 2, etc.

The text of each volume is provided on its own page. Differences necessary for multi-volume books are:

  • The Book Summary template for each individual volume should include use the title parameter to provide a link to the overall page for that set of books. The link should use {{NAMESPACE}} to ensure the link works for all namespace-specific versions of the book. For example:
|title=[[{{NAMESPACE}}:Brief History of the Empire|Brief History of the Empire]], Part I
  • The bottom of the page should have a Book Footer template. This should not be enclosed in noinclude tags; instead the Skippage parameter is used so that it does not appear on the aggregate book page. This footer is used to provide links to other books in the series. For example, the following is the footer used on the page Lore:Brief History of the Empire v 3:
{{Book Footer
|Skippage=Brief History of the Empire
|Prev=''[[{{NAMESPACE}}:Brief History of the Empire{{#ifeq:{{NAMESPACE}}|Oblivion|,}} v 2|Volume 2]]''
|Up=''[[{{NAMESPACE}}:Brief History of the Empire|Brief History of the Empire]]''
|Next=''[[{{NAMESPACE}}:Brief History of the Empire{{#ifeq:{{NAMESPACE}}|Oblivion|,}} v 4|Volume 4]]''

The overall page for the series of books transcludes each of the individual volumes, instead of duplicating all of the text. For each volume there should be a level-four header containing a link to the volume, followed by the transclusion. For example:

==''[[Lore:Brief History of the Empire v 1|Volume I]]''==
{{Lore:Brief History of the Empire v 1}}

To force the table of contents to be shown, __TOC__ should be entered onto the page immediately after the introductory information.

Links to the Book[edit]

All books in the Lore namespace should be included in the alphabetical lists of books at Lore:Books. (In the case of multi-volume books, only a link to the overall book is needed, not a link to each individual volume). Book information is entered using the Lore Book Entry template. For example:

{{Lore Book Entry|title=Advances in Lock Picking |OB=yes}}
  • "title" should be the exact title of the book page
  • OB=yes means that the book appears in Oblivion (the template will automatically create a link to the appropriate book page).

Books should also be added to the Lore:Books by Author and Lore:Books by Subject listing, just using a standard wiki link.

Finally, books should also be added to any appropriate game-specific listing of books (e.g., Morrowind:Books, Oblivion:Books, Shivering:Books). Currently, different formats are used on most of the game-specific pages. At some point, a more uniform layout will probably be adopted.

Notes and Letters[edit]

Notes, letters, and other brief reading material in general do not belong in the Lore namespace. In general, if the reading material uses an icon other than a book (scroll, piece of paper, etc) then it probably should not be added to the Lore books. Also, if the information is not of general interest (e.g., only necessary to complete one quest, or is uninteresting, like shopping lists or recipes) then it probably should not be a Lore book.

For particularly brief notes, they do not need to have their own page. The text can be provided in a table (e.g., Oblivion:Notes), or entered on the appropriate quest page (e.g., the "Suicide Note" at Oblivion:Permanent Retirement#Notes).

See Also[edit]