Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For other uses, see Shalidor's Insights.

Shalidor's Insights is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in which the Dragonborn must recover Shalidor's Insights, a series of books written by the Archmagus Shalidor for study by the College of Winterhold.


Urag gro-Shub is looking for writings by the Arch-Mage Shalidor, so that he can translate them into something useful for College of Winterhold. He's asked that I attempt to find another copy for him.


  1. Find Shalidor's writings
  2. Talk to Urag


Once the Dragonborn has been admitted to the College of Winterhold, they will have access to The Arcanaeum. The Arcanaeum is tended by an old Orsimer named Urag gro-Shub. The Dragonborn has to ask Urag if he needs any special books to be found. Urag will talk about the Arch-Mage Shalidor and his understanding of magic. Urag will then ask the Dragonborn if they wish to find Shalidor's Insights for him.

Are there any special books you're looking for? "As a matter of fact, there are. Have you ever heard of Shalidor? Immensely powerful mage, back in the First Era. Had an understanding of magic few have ever matched. He holed himself up in Labyrinthian, and devoted all of his time to research and study. Wrote more than you could imagine possible. Since then, his writings have been scattered all over Skyrim, but are little use to anyone who can't translate them. I'm one of the few who can. I've heared whispers of more of his works having turned up. If you can track it down, it may prove useful to us." (On subsequent interactions: "I'm always trying to find more of Shalidor's writings. I've heared whispers of more of his works having turned up. If you can track it down, it may prove useful to us.")

In the chest located on the map is a copy of Shalidor's Insights. Return the book to Urag and receive 30 Gold:

I found more of Shalidor's work. "Excellent! I'll start translating it. Shouldn't take more than a day or two."

He says he will need a couple of days to translate it. Wait 36 hours and ask Urag how the research is coming along, and if the Dragonborn waited long enough, he will say he has completed the translation, and gives them three Shalidor's Insights. These are scrolls which lower the cost and increase the duration of spells for 120 seconds. Uncommonly, the Dragonborn will get a random magic skill increase. This increase does not count as one of the five training points each level but it functions in exactly the same manner as it would a trainer.

Possible locations[]

As a radiant quest, locations will vary.
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Shalidor's Insights – MGR21
ID Journal Entry
10 Urag gro-Shub is looking for writings by the Arch-Mage Shalidor, so that he can translate them into something useful for the College. He's asked that I attempt to find another copy for him.
  • Objective 10: Find Shalidor's writings
20 I've managed to find the writings of the Arch-Mage Shalidor that Urag gro-Shub was looking for. I should take them to him at the Arcanaeum so that he can translate them.
  • Objective 20: Talk to Urag
  • Quest complete


This section contains bugs related to Shalidor's Insights (Quest). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  /  PS5  ,  XS  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
Click to show
  • If Vokun has already been killed without looting the scroll, then it may not be possible to open the gates to get back into the treasure room behind Vokun. If a follower is present, jump on the pillars in the room where Anska is, then use Whirlwind Sprint to reach the ledge where the treasure room is. Use Unrelenting Force to push the follower through the gate (several tries will be needed, just wait an hour to try again); have the follower pull the chain to open the gate so the treasure room can be accessed to get the book.
  • If the player already has the required book, a dialogue to give it over will not appear, and going to the location will not help.
    •  PC   The book may be dropped using console commands (player.drop "refID"). The refID can be one of eight different ones, as listed below. After picking the book up again the quest jumps forward to the point were you can just turn it in. (000F6275; 000F6276; 000F6277; 000F6278; 000C1E77; 000C1E78; 000C1E79; 000C1E7A)
  • If told to fetch the book in an area that is already cleared, it will not be there (may possibly reappear once the dungeon refreshes).
  •  PC   After the quest is complete and the scrolls are obtained from Urag gro-Shub, the dialogue option with him to start the same quest still exists. Selecting this same option initiates the conversation in which Urag asks the Dragonborn if they have ever heard of Shalidor, and the quest reappears in the journal. However, a quest marker may not be shown.
  • This quest can be done multiple times. Scrolls from all magic schools (except enchanting) can be obtained this way.
  • Sometimes a skill level will be given as a reward, but this is extremely rare.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Sometimes the location of Shalidor's Writings will not show up on the map, making it extremely hard to find.
    • If one of the books is on Solstheim, you will need to travel there to see it on the map.
  • When told to get the book from Yngol's Barrow, the marker may appear at the back entrance of the dungeon. One must walk to the entrance of the barrow, the location for which can be seen on the compass when standing near the exit.