a lot of the artifacts have convenient NPC helpers around to tell you what to do with them, or are revealed through the course of the adventure. There's also bardic knowledge rolls and the like if you want.
I made sure my players knew that the items had a lot of power, but not necessarily what it was.
Other people chronicle the setting. I chronicle the culture.
"Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available. " -Benford's Law of Controversy
The ultimate DL fan is a bodhisattva-one who has transcended fandom and collection sizes, and yet stays in fandom to help the love of others grow.