The Escritoire is a block added by Forestry. It is used to find out more information about a genetic sample of a bee, tree or butterfly.
To use the Escritoire, right-click on it to open the GUI, then place a sample (tree, bee or butterfly) into the central space. This will cause an even number of books, minimum of 6, to appear in the grid.
Click on the books to find matching pairs. Failure is common and this mini-game requires persistence. If the player fails to find a matching pair, the books will have red crosses over them, and the player must start again by removing the sample from the central space and placing it back in again to begin a new search.
If the player successfully uncovers all matching pairs, they will be rewarded with a Research Note which appears on the right side of the GUI. If they are researching bees, they may also get some of the items dropped by the bee they are examining. It is possible to get a previously acquired research note, but usually a new one will be received.
The Research Note, when held in the hand and right-clicked, will increase the chance of a specific breeding mutation for the sample item by 5%. The player can only "learn" each mutation once, though it may be used by other players on a server.
Hints can be purchased by placing bees, trees, or butterflies (depending on the sample item) into the slots on the left then clicking the Microscope button. Items used to purchase the hint are consumed. A hint will show what is beneath some of the books, but the player must still click on them to match pairs.