A simple search of the Internet will yield web sites devoted to family crests and coat of arms representations; allfamilycrests.com is one such site, and family-crests.com is another. Books published from Europe by the "College of Arms" would be non-Internet research methods to find a family crest.
It was in the eighth and ninth centuries that the practice of creating a family crest (or coat of arms) began. Each family wanted to establish its unique standard and the rising art of heraldry lended itself to the process. Royal law prohibited duplication, so each family crest is unique and was recorded in royal courts.