Pas d'armes were at once spectacular and ephemeral events in terms of how they were commemorated. Whilst shields with the competitors' coats of arms were sometimes taken away once the combats were over to be displayed in buildings such as a castle, a church or a hospital, no statues commemorating these feats have survived and no medals were struck.
By far the most durable form of commemoration of a pas d'armes was therefore the written text, whether a narrative account (in prose or verse) or a financial record. Many authors of these narratives were heralds who had been involved in publicising the event, such as Orléans Herald who explicitly names himself as the author of the account of the Pas des armes de Sandricourt (1493). Others do not give their names but were most likely responsible for commemorating the Pas du Perron Fée (1463) and the Pas of Carignano (1504). Heralds were probably involved in writing up other types of narrative text too, such as the chivalric biography known as the Livre des faits de messire Jacques de Lalaing (early 1470s), which has an account of the Pas de la Fontaine des Pleurs (1449-50). Heralds' reports of pas d'armes could also serve as the basis for chroniclers to write up their own versions, as Olivier de La Marche, the prolific Burgundian historiographer, freely acknowledges. Finally, and most unusually, the account of the Pas de la Bergère (1449) was composed by Louis de Beauvau, a knight from Anjou who had actually jousted at the event himself. As he himself says, he could not resist the temptation to mention how he had performed in the lists as this was all in the interests of telling the complete truth about this particular pas d'armes...
Whilst many pas d'armes narratives survive in a sole manuscript lacking any decoration, others have been preserved in single or even multiple lavishly illustrated copies. The people who commissioned or owned these deluxe manuscripts often did so for the purpose of memorialisation, that is to enhance their own memory or that of past members of their own families.
The most heavily illustrated pas d'armes manuscript, that of the Pas de la Joyeuse Garde/Pas de Saumur (Saint Petersburg, National Library of Russia, fr. F. p. XIV, 4), which has nearly 90 miniatures, was probably commissioned by one of the daughters of the event's entrepreneur, René of Anjou. This is most likely to have been Yolande of Anjou, who was married to Ferry II de Vaudémont-Lorraine, the winner of the pas, as a way of preserving her husband's memory for posterity.
The Livre des faits de messire Jacques de Lalaing, which records the hero's deeds as entrepreneur of the Pas de la Fontaine des Pleurs, survives in at least twelve copies, three of them illustrated with 18 images apiece. These were mostly owned by later members of the Lalaing dynasty who saw them as monuments to their family's history and often included other narratives or documents recounting their famous ancestors' exploits, such as the Pas du Perron Fée defended by Philippe, brother of Jacques.
The Pas des armes de Sandricourt is the first pas d'armes narrative to appear in early printed book form (1490s). Whilst cheaper paper copies without illustrations would have appealed to a broad readership, more expensive illuminated copies on vellum (calf-skin) were also produced, probably for those like the chief entrepreneur, Louis de Hédouville, and other high-ranking competitors, who wanted their own permanent and luxurious souvenir of the event.