While stories about the artifact have been around since the First Era, Glamoril's existence has never been confirmed, and neither its purpose nor its function are mentioned in any known account. The College of Winterhold, however, has developed theories based on Shalidor's uncommonly diverse studies, speculating that "the source of life" was perhaps used to enhance some capability of the Archmage, such as unfathomable intelligence or knowledge; or even to give him the ability to "live multiple lifetimes in a short span of time." It should also be stated that Glamoril may be either an item, or a concept.
Shalidor continued to work on Glamoril, and became so obsessed with his research that he shut out and ignored everything else, including his wife Ulfsild. He reached a critical junction where even his knowledge and power failed him. Desperate to complete the artifact, he concluded a deal with Sheogorath for the Folium Discognitum. However, even after learning the secrets of the Folium, Shalidor still failed to complete his work. As well, Sheogorath tricked Shalidor into giving up the island of Eyevea in exchange for the Folium, which would disappear from Tamriel for hundreds of years before being returned through the efforts of the Vestige.