An autograph is a person's own handwriting or signature. The word autograph comes from Ancient Greek (αὐτός, autós, "self" and γράφω, gráphō, "write"), and can mean more specifically:
- a manuscript written by the author of its content. In this meaning the term autograph can often be used interchangeably with holograph.
- a celebrity's handwritten signature. Autograph collecting is the activity of collecting such autographs.
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What might be considered the oldest "autograph" is a Sumerian clay table from about 3100 BC which includes the name of the scribe Gar.Ama. No ancient written autographs have been found, and the earliest one known for a major historical figure is that of El Cid from 1098.
"Autograph" can refer to a document transcribed entirely in the handwriting of its author, as opposed to a typeset document or one written by an amanuensis or a copyist. This meaning overlaps that of "holograph".
Autograph collecting is the hobby of collecting autographs of famous persons. Some of the most popular categories of autograph subjects are presidents, military soldiers, athletes, movie stars, artists, social and religious leaders, scientists, astronauts, and authors.
- Asemic writing
- Profiles in History
- Memorial to the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence, stone blocks with depicted signatures
- Autograph show
- ^ a b c d e Thompson, Edward Maunde (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 45–47. . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.).
- ^ a b c Gove, Philip B. (ed.), 1981. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, p. 147. ISBN 0-87779-206-2
- ^ a b Tomita, Yo (2016). "Autographs, Copies and Original Manuscripts". In Leaver, Robin A. (ed.). The Routledge Research Companion to Johann Sebastian Bach. Taylor & Francis. pp. 52–54. ISBN 9781315452807.
- ^ Fletcher, Richard A. (1 January 1989). The Quest for El Cid. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195069556 – via Google Books.
- ^ "Collection: Autograph Collection | USF Libraries - Tampa Special Collections ArchivesSpace". archives.lib.usf.edu. Retrieved 2023-02-03.
- Collecting Autographs and Manuscripts by Charles Hamilton, Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1961, 269 pages.
- Autographs and Manuscripts: A Collector's Manual edited by Ed Berkeley, Charles Scribner's Sons Pub., 1978, 565 pages.
- T.J. Brown's series on Autographs in The Book Collector.
- The Autograph at the HathiTrust Digital Library (early 20th-century periodical, full view)