For many centuries, the Mage's Guild was the center of professional accountability and education for magic-users throughout the Tamrielic Empire. This organization was based in the Imperial City, where it had its own quarter of the city. It also maintained a presence in major walled cities throughout the empire, such as in the province of Cyrodiil. These 'chapters' of the Guild functioned somewhat similarly to the Fighter's Guild in recruitment and practice, especially in training, although with a vastly more collegiate, metropolitan culture. They operated under the aegis of a central authority based in the Imperial City, the Arcane University, which was open only to the most highly accomplished members of each chapter upon recommendation of their leaders.
The Guild was highly committed to archaeological research as well as literature-based arcane research, and until its dissolution at the end of the Third Era, was the most accomplished investigative entity and explicator of Dwemer culture and technology.