is a document
The term document has multiple meanings in ordinary language and in scholarship. WordNet 3.1. lists four meanings :* document, written document, papers...
transcribed entirely in the handwriting of its author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...
, as opposed to a typeset
Typesetting is the composition of text by means of types.Typesetting requires the prior process of designing a font and storing it in some manner...
document or one written by an amanuensis
Amanuensis is a Latin word adopted in various languages, including English, for certain persons performing a function by hand, either writing down the words of another or performing manual labour...
or a copyist
Allography, from the Greek for "other writing", has several meanings which all relate to how words and sounds are written down.-Allographs as authorship:...
; the meaning overlaps with that of the word holograph
A holograph is a document written entirely in the handwriting of the person whose signature it bears. Some countries or local jurisdictions within certain countries give legal standing to specific types of holographic documents, generally waiving requirements that they be witnessed...
Autograph also refers to a person's artistic signature
A signature is a handwritten depiction of someone's name, nickname, or even a simple "X" that a person writes on documents as a proof of identity and intent. The writer of a signature is a signatory. Similar to a handwritten signature, a signature work describes the work as readily identifying...
. This term is used in particular for the practice of collecting autographs of celebrities
A celebrity, also referred to as a celeb in popular culture, is a person who has a prominent profile and commands a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media...
. The hobby of collecting autographs is known as philography
An individual's writing styles change throughout the lifespan of a person
Human development is the process of growing to maturity. In biological terms, this entails growth from a one-celled zygote to an adult human being.- Biological development:...
; a signature of President George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...
(c. 1795) will be different from one when he was an 18-year-old land surveyor. After British Admiral Nelson lost his right arm at the Tenerife sea-battle in 1797, he switched to using his left hand. However, the degree of change may vary greatly. The signatures of Washington and Lincoln changed only slightly during their adult lives, while John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....
's signature was different virtually every time he signed.
Other factors affect an individual's signature, including their level of education, health, and so on. Blues singer John Lee Hooker
John Lee Hooker was an American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist.Hooker began his life as the son of a sharecropper, William Hooker, and rose to prominence performing his own unique style of what was originally closest to Delta blues. He developed a 'talking blues' style that was his trademark...
had a limited education, and such is reflected in his handwriting. Composer Charles Ives
Charles Edward Ives was an American modernist composer. He is one of the first American composers of international renown, though Ives' music was largely ignored during his life, and many of his works went unperformed for many years. Over time, Ives came to be regarded as an "American Original"...
and boxer Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist...
both suffered from Parkinson's disease, and their handwriting show the effects of that condition as well. Native American Chief Geronimo
Geronimo was a prominent Native American leader of the Chiricahua Apache who fought against Mexico and the United States for their expansion into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars. Allegedly, "Geronimo" was the name given to him during a Mexican incident...
had no concept of an alphabet; he "drew" his signature, much like a pictograph.
Many individuals have much more fanciful signatures than their normal cursive writing, including elaborate ascenders, descender
In typography, a descender is the portion of a letter that extends below the baseline of a font. The line that descenders reach down to is known as the beard line....
s and exotic flourishes, much as one would find in calligraphic
Calligraphy is a type of visual art. It is often called the art of fancy lettering . A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner"...
As an example, the final "k" in John Hancock
John Hancock was a merchant, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts...
's famous signature on the United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...
loops back to underline his name. This kind of flourish is also known as a paraph
Paraph can mean:* a flourish at the end of a signature* an alternative name for the pilcrow sign...
. John Hancock's signature on the Declaration of Independence is so unique and well-known that the phrase "John Hancock" has become a synonym for "signature" in American English
American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....
, and a prominent piece of American iconography.
Categories of celebrities
Some of the most popular categories of autograph subjects are Presidents, military figures, sports, popular culture, artists, social and religious leaders, scientists, astronaut
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....
s and authors.
Some collectors may specialize in specific fields (such as Nobel Prize winners) or general topics (military leaders participating in World War I) or specific documents (i.e., signers of the Charter of the United Nations; signers of the U.S. Constitution; signers of the Israeli Declaration of Independence; signers of the Charter of the European Common Union; signers of the WWII German or Japanese surrender documents).
Sports memorabilia signed by a whole team can often be sold for hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Some celebrities still enjoy signing autographs for free for fans, keeping it an interesting hobby. Art Carney
Arthur William Matthew “Art” Carney was an American actor in film, stage, television and radio. He is best known for playing Ed Norton, opposite Jackie Gleason's Ralph Kramden in the situation comedy The Honeymooners....
also enjoyed signing autographs until his death in November 2003.
Many people who will stand outside premieres etc. and ask for autographs are actually professional autograph traders, who then sell the autographs for full profit, rather than fans interested in the star itself or in even keeping the autograph. This is one reason why some celebrities are not willing to distribute their signature unless paid to do so. Joe DiMaggio
Joseph Paul "Joe" DiMaggio , nicknamed "Joltin' Joe" and "The Yankee Clipper," was an American Major League Baseball center fielder who played his entire 13-year career for the New York Yankees. He is perhaps best known for his 56-game hitting streak , a record that still stands...
was able to command more money on signing fees than he made in his playing career, though he also gave individual autographs. Bill Russell does not sign at all in public, and only sparingly at private sessions. Michael Jordan
Michael Jeffrey Jordan is a former American professional basketball player, active entrepreneur, and majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats...
reportedly did not sign for most of his career because of safety concerns about frenzied attempts to get his signature, which is worth hundreds of dollars. Jordan has frequently signed at more peaceful events, such as golf tournaments. Pete Rose
Peter Edward Rose , nicknamed "Charlie Hustle", is a former Major League Baseball player and manager. Rose played from 1963 to 1986, and managed from 1984 to 1989....
was paid to sign 30 baseballs with the inscription "I'm sorry I bet on baseball." Actor/comedian Steve Martin
Stephen Glenn "Steve" Martin is an American actor, comedian, writer, playwright, producer, musician and composer....
carries business cards which he hands to fans requesting an autograph; the cards read "This certifies that you have had a personal encounter with me and that you found me warm, polite, intelligent and funny."
Realizing the potential profit in the sale of pop culture autographs, many dealers also would wait for hours for a celebrity to emerge from a location, present several photos for the celebrity to sign and then sell most of them. Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. Referred to as the King of Pop, or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records...
's experience was typical; he often signed just a handful of autographs as he rushed from his hotel to his vehicle. Some collectors take note of which celebrities are the most gracious or the least forthcoming. Some dealers would locate a celebrity's home address and write to them repeatedly asking for autographs. The celebrities soon grew tired of the practice and limited their responses. Because of the many autographs a celebrity might sign over time, some check requests against a record of past requests. Boxer George Foreman
George Edward Foreman is an American two-time former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Olympic gold medalist, ordained Baptist minister, author and successful entrepreneur...
, for instance, records the names and addresses of every person requesting an autograph to limit such abuses. Canadian sculptor Christian Cardell Corbet
Christian Cardell Corbet is a Canadian sculptor, painter and designer. He co-founded and was first President of the Canadian Portrait Academy.- Quotes :...
has his assistant research all requested autographs and also records all sent out.
Celebrities sometimes authorized secretaries to sign their correspondence. In the early months of WWII, U.S. Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall felt obligated to sign every condolence letter sent to the families of slain soldiers. But as the death rate increased, he was forced to assign an assistant to "forge" his signature to the letters. The surrogate signatures were hard to distinguish from the originals. General Douglas MacArthur rarely signed a WWII condolence letter personally and all of his letters to families were signed by one of two assistants who tried hard to duplicate his signature but the "forgeries" were distinguished by an unusually high letter "l" and a skinny "D". During the early stage of the Korean War, MacArthur personally signed condolence letters. As the fatalities increased, the General began to use letters with pre-printed signatures.
In the 1952 Presidential Election, General Eisenhower often had secretaries forge his name to campaign letters and "personally inscribed" autographed photographs.
Since the early 1950s almost all American presidents have had an autopen
An autopen is a machine used for the automatic signing of a signature. The reason for employing an autopen is typically emotive, intending to form a compromise between making every signature by hand, and printing a reproduction of the signature, which is perceived as impersonal by the...
or robot machine for the automatic signing of a signature as an autograph machine for their letters, photographs, books, and even official documents. The Signa-Signer can even write out in ink an authentically looking handwritten message that has been typed into the machine. One book detailing the use of this machine by President John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....
(1961–1963) is The Robot That Helped to Make a President
Since the 1960s, the practice of using an autopen has spread to U.S. Cabinet members and to U.S. Senators, and many other personalities who have a high volume of correspondence with the public.
Astronaut Alan Shepard
Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. was an American naval aviator, test pilot, flag officer, and NASA astronaut who in 1961 became the second person, and the first American, in space. This Mercury flight was designed to enter space, but not to achieve orbit...
acknowledged that NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...
used the autopen machine to sign the astronauts' voluminous correspondence. Many large corporations also use these machines for signing business letters. One might think that autopen signatures would constantly match one another. However, even autopen signatures will eventually change as the signature drum becomes worn and thereby alters the signature. Due to these professional imitations, one must be wary of buying presidential or astronaut signatures from unknown sellers.
In December 2004, a controversy arose when it was revealed that United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Henry Rumsfeld is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to...
, was using an autopen to sign letters-of-condolence to families of American military members who had died in the line of duty while serving under Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom
. Shortly thereafter, Rumsfeld announced that he would start to personally sign such letters.
Autograph collecting is an enthralling hobby to collectors, who enjoy assembling a series of historical documents, letters or objects that have been signed or autographed by a notable person as a way of capturing a piece of history. However, collectors must be aware that the hobby is fraught with documents, photographs and sports items that were signed by forgers seeking to profit by selling forged items to unwitting buyers. Sometimes just the signature has been forged, in other instances the entire document has been fabricated. Forged autographs of nearly all famous personalities abound. Differentiating forged from authentic autographs is almost impossible for the amateur collector and a professional should be consulted.
One method commonly seen on eBay
eBay Inc. is an American internet consumer-to-consumer corporation that manages eBay.com, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide...
is called "preprinting" by many sellers. The item is only a photocopy of an actual autographed photo, usually printed on glossy home photo paper. Since this is almost always disclosed to the buyer, some may not consider these actual forgeries.
Forgers go to great lengths to make their forgeries appear authentic. They use blank end papers from old books upon which to write their fake signatures in an attempt to match the paper of the era in which the personality lived. They have researched ink formulations of the era that they want to replicate. One book that explores the production of impressive fake manuscripts pertaining to Mormons is: A Gathering of Saints
by Robert Lindsey
Robert Lindsey is a journalist and author of several true crime books, including The Falcon and the Snowman: A True Story of Friendship and Espionage , the story of Christopher John Boyce and Andrew Daulton Lee, who were both convicted of selling information to the Soviets...
One must know the era in which American presidents signed their documents. American presidents signed land grants until President Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...
(c. 1836) became bored with the time-consuming task. Since then secretaries of the president have mimicked their masters' signatures on these documents (known as "proxy" signatures). Many movie stars have their secretaries sign their letters and photographs for them. When President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....
was an actor during the 1940s, he had his mother sign his name to much of his fan mail
Fan mail is mail sent to a public figure, especially a celebrity, by their admirers or "fans".In return celebrities may send a poster or picture and usually a return letter.-Overview:...
During the American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...
(1861–1865), the president of the Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...
was Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...
. Due to his extensive correspondence, Davis' wife frequently signed his name to his dictated letters. As she duplicated his signature so well, she usually placed a period after the signature so that he could discern her signatures from his own.
All of the Union and Confederate generals from the American Civil War have had their signatures forged. Many were faked during the 1880s, a period that included the fad of aging soldiers in collecting Civil War autographs. Most deceptions were of mere signatures on a small piece of paper, but extensively written letters were forged as well. Autograph collectors should be cautious of clipped signatures
. The bogus autograph is glued onto an authentic steel-engraved portrait of the subject. Some steel engravings may have reprinted the autograph of the portrayed subject; this is known as a facsimile autograph
, and to an uninformed buyer it may appear to be real.
Some personalities have used a rubber or steel hand-stamp to "sign" their documents. American President Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States . As Vice-President of the United States in 1865, he succeeded Abraham Lincoln following the latter's assassination. Johnson then presided over the initial and contentious Reconstruction era of the United States following the American...
(c.1866) did so during his tenure as a senator prior to assuming the presidency, since his right hand was injured in a train accident. This is why his autograph as President differs from previous autographs. President Warren Harding frequently used a rubber stamp while he was a senator. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...
and Franklin Delano Roosevelt used them, along with President Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...
(c.1916). England's King Henry VIII
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...
and Pennsylvania colony founder William Penn
William Penn was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful...
used a deceiving hand stamp.
Joseph Stalin had several rubber signature stamps which were used on awards and Communist party cards. Nikita Kruschev and Lavrenti Beria, the KGB Chief, used similar stamps.
Quality forgeries have been made for many of Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...
's past rulers. The French nobles
The French nobility was the privileged order of France in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern periods.In the political system of the Estates General, the nobility made up the Second Estate...
had their secrétaires de main sign their documents. Many forgeries of Napoleon's (c.1800) war orders exist; he was so busy with battle concerns that he barely had enough time to sign promotion orders for generals, so his scribe
A scribe is a person who writes books or documents by hand as a profession and helps the city keep track of its records. The profession, previously found in all literate cultures in some form, lost most of its importance and status with the advent of printing...
s applied his name to lesser documents.
Many famous scientists, astronauts, Arctic explorers, musicians, poets, and literary authors have had forgeries of their epistles and signatures produced . False signatures of the aviator Charles Lindbergh
Charles Augustus Lindbergh was an American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist.Lindbergh, a 25-year-old U.S...
were clandestinely signed onto real 1930-era airmail envelopes bought at stamp shops and then re-sold to unwary buyers; the same has occurred with Amelia Earhart
Amelia Mary Earhart was a noted American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first woman to receive the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded for becoming the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean...
and the Wright brothers. "Mickey Mouse" creator, Walt Disney
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...
(1955), had several of his cartoonists duplicate his artistic signature on replies to children seeking his autograph.
Texan paper currency was signed in ink by Sam Houston
Samuel Houston, known as Sam Houston , was a 19th-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He was born in Timber Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of...
, though not handwritten by Houston himself.
The Oct. 1986 Smithsonian
Smithsonian is the official journal published by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The first issue was published in 1970.-History:...
magazine explored the "melting timepieces
The Persistence of Memory is a 1931 painting by artist Salvador Dalí, and is one of his most recognizable works. The painting has been in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City since 1934...
" artwork of the Spanish painter Salvador Dalí
Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol , commonly known as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres,Spain....
. It quoted one of his secretaries as claiming that she signed the artist's signature to postcard depictions of his paintings. Another article in the April 2005 Smithsonian
noted: "In 1965 he began selling signed sheets of otherwise blank lithograph paper for $10 a sheet. He may have signed well over 50,000 in the remaining quarter century of his life, an action that resulted in a flood of Dalí lithograph forgeries."
Some deceivers cut pages from books that American President Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...
(c.1970) signed on the blank flyleaf, typed his letter of resignation from the presidency on that signed page, and then sold the doctored item as if Nixon had personally signed a scarce copy of the historical document. The miscreant has changed the value of a lower-priced signed book quite easily to a much more lucrative item; changing a mere signature into a signed manuscript. This practice has expanded to include quotations from George W. Bush, Richard Nixon, Hillary Clinton, John F.Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Although now marketed as "souvenir" signed copies, they are, by definition, fraudulent creations.
Other authenticity issues
Forgers buy real American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...
-era documents and surreptitiously pen a famous patriot's name between other real signatures in a manuscript in hope of deceiving an unsuspecting buyer. Others will use tea or tobacco stains to brown or age their modern missives.
It has been estimated that over 80 percent of the autographed items of famous American sports players being sold over the Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...
are fakes. Baseball legend Babe Ruth
George Herman Ruth, Jr. , best known as "Babe" Ruth and nicknamed "the Bambino" and "the Sultan of Swat", was an American Major League baseball player from 1914–1935...
, for instance, has had his signature forged on old baseballs, then rubbed in dirt to make them appear to be from the 1930s .
With the recent enormous growth of autograph sellers on eBay, and the appearance of a multitude of new galleries and retailers offering expensive autographs, casual autograph collectors and one-time buyers have in many instances sought "certificates of authenticity" issued by the seller at the time of sale. As with any guarantee, these certificates are only as dependable as the seller issuing them, and if the seller is a fraud, then your certificate, and the possibility that your signed item could be considered worthless. Any COA or similar issued by a seller should always include the sellers full contact details and any details of Association memberships, and these should always be double checked on the Associations website.
In many instances, sellers will use a professional authenticator to determine the authenticity of the material they wish to bring to market. The autograph industry is currently contentiously split between two types of authenticators: those who rely upon their professional expertise and experience personally having collected and/or sold large inventories of autographs over a period of many years, and "forensic examiners" who rely on academic credentials. Disputes have led to court actions, most notably gallery owner American Royal Arts vs. Beatles autograph dealer Frank Caiazzo.
Potential autograph buyers uncertain of the legitimacy of the seller or authenticator should carefully research both parties, and should always check any dealer who claims membership of any association. PADA, the UACC
all include a list of dealers on their websites for anyone to view. This research should not be limited to a seller's or an authenticator's website which could be prejudiced. Some dealers have been known to invent their own Association, i.e. 'The Universal Manuscript Society' or the 'United Kingdom Autograph Collectors Club' to enhance their own reputation, but neither of these associations exist in real life.
Mastro Auctions, a major sports autograph auction house which used a professional authenticator to determine the authenticity of material offered for sale, was sued by a dealer in 2006 (Bill Daniels v. Mastro Auctions, Boone County, Indiana, case #06D01-0502 -PL- 0060). Daniels said that he had bought over 2,000 signed photographs of athletes from Mastro and claimed that the catalog incorrectly described them as all being in color and 8x10 in size. Daniels also claimed that some of the autographs on the photographs may have been fakes. He produced two dealers whom he said were autograph experts, but Superior Court Judge Matthew C. Kincaid excluded their testimony saying that neither Steve Koschal nor Richard Simon "possess sufficient skill, knowledge or experience in the fields in which they were asked to render opinions." http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2007/07/15/2007-07-15_lack_of_intent_seen_in_flubs_at_auctions.html
In autograph-auction catalogues the following abbreviations are used to help describe the type of letter or document that is being offered for sale.
- AD: Autograph Document (hand-written by the person to be collected, but not signed)
- ADS: Autograph Document Signed (written and signed by same individual)
- AL: Autograph Letter (hand-written by the person to be collected, but not signed)
- ALS: Autograph Letter Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual)
- AMs: Autograph Manuscript (hand-written; such as the draft of a play, research paper or music sheet)
- AMsS: Autograph Manuscript Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual)
- AMusQs: Autograph Musical Quotation Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual)
- AN: Autograph Note (no salutation or closing, usually shorter than a letter)
- ANS: Autograph Note Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual)
- AQS: Autograph Quote Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual; poem verse, sentence, or bar-of-music)
- DS: Document signed (printed, or while hand-written by another, is signed by individual sought to be collected)
- LS: Letter Signed (hand-written by someone else, but signed by the individual sought to be collected, frequently handwritten by secretaries before the advent of the typewriter)
- PS: Photograph Signed or Postcard Signed
- SP: Signed Photograph
- TLS: Typed Letter Signed
- TNS: Typed Note Signed
- folio: A printer's sheet of paper folded once to make two leaves, double quarto size or larger.
- octavo(8vo): A manuscript page about six-by-nine inches. (Originally determined by folding a printer's sheet of paper to form eight leaves.)
- quarto(4to): A manuscript page of about nine and one-half by twelve inches. (Originally determined by folding a printer's sheet of paper twice to form four leaves.)
- Forging History: The Detection of Fake Letters and Documents by Kenneth W. Rendell
Kenneth W. Rendell is an American dealer and expert in historical letters, manuscripts, and documents. He is president of Kenneth W. Rendell, Inc., in South Natick, Massachusetts, and the Kenneth W. Rendell Gallery in New York City. Rendell is also founder of the Museum of World War II in...
, University of Oklahoma Press
The University of Oklahoma Press is the publishing arm of the University of Oklahoma. It has been in operation for over seventy-five years, and was the first university press established in the American Southwest. It was founded by William Bennett Bizzell, the fifth president of the University of...
, 1994, 173 pages.
- Great Forgers and Famous Fakes by Charles Hamilton, Crown Publishers, 1980, 278 pages.
- Making Money in Autographs by George Sullivan, 1977, 223 pages.
- Collecting Autographs by Herman M. Darvick, Julian Messner, a Simon & Schuster Division of Gulf & Western Corporation, 1981, 96 pages.
- 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.
- Scribblers & Scoundrels by Charles Hamilton, Eriksson Pub., 1968, 282 pages.
- Manuscripts: The First Twenty Years edited by Priscilla Taylor, Greenwood Press, 1984, 429 pages.
- Autographs: A Key to Collecting by Mary Benjamin, 1963, 345 pages
- Big Name Hunting: A Beginners Guide to Autograph Collecting by Charles Hamilton, Simon & Schuster Pub., 1973, 95 pages.
- The Signature of America by Charles Hamilton, Harper & Row, 1979, 279 pages.
- Word Shadows of the Great: The Lure of Autograph Collecting by Thomas Madigan, Frederick A. Stokes
Frederick A. Stokes was an eponymous American publishing company. Stokes was a graduate of Yale Law School. He had previously worked for Dodd, Mead and Company and then briefly had partnerships with others before founding his company in 1890....
Co., 1930, 300 pages.
- Collecting Autographs For Fun and Profit by Robert Pelton, Betterway Pub., 1987, 160 pages.
- From the White House Inkwell by John Taylor, Tuttle Co., 1968, 147 pages.
- Autograph Collector's Checklist edited by John Taylor, The Manuscript Society, 1990, 172 pages.
- The Autograph Collector by Robert Notlep, Crown Pub., 1968, 240 pages.
- The Complete Book of Autograph Collecting by George Sullivan, 1971, 154 pages.
- A Gathering of Saints by Robert Lindsey, Simon & Schuster, 1988, 397 pages.
- Dönitz at Nuremberg: A Re-Appraisal by H.K. Thompson, Amber Pub., 1976, 198 pages.
- Leaders and Personalities of the Third Reich by Charles Hamilton, 2 vols., Bender Pub., 1984 (Vol. 1) and 1996 (Vol. 2).
- The Guinness Book of World Autographs by Ray Rawlins, 1997, 244 pages.
- The Robot that Helped to Make a President by Charles Hamilton, 1965.
- War Between the States: Autographs and Biographical Sketches by Jim Hayes, Palmetto Pub., 1989, 464 pages.
- American Autographs by Charles Hamilton, 2 vols., Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1983, 634 pages.
- Autographs of Indian Personalities by S.S. Hitkari, Phulkari Pub., 1999, 112 pages.
- Ieri Ho Visto Il Duce: Trilogia dell'iconografia mussoliniana ed. Ermanno Alberti.
- Who's Who series; Who's Who in America, etc.
- Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American Biography ed. by James Wilson, 6 vols., 1888.
- Autograph, Please by Santosh Kumar Lahoti, Reesha Books International Pub., 2009, : India.
- Play Ball, Mr. President: A Century of Baseballs Signed by U.S. Presidents by Dan Cohen, 2008, 48 pages.
- "Signs of the Times: Autographs of luminaries: from Lincoln to Liberace", Steve Kemper, Smithsonian magazine, Nov. 1997.
- "The Surreal World of Salvador Dali", Stanley Meisler, Smithsonian magazine, Apr. 2005.
- "The Tumultuous Life and Love of Salvador Dali", Meryle Secrest, Smithsonian magazine, Oct. 1986.
- http://uacc.info/ Universal Autograph Collectors Club, a federally approved 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 1965.
- http://www.AFTAL.co.uk, UK based autograph dealer association.
- Autographs at the Open Directory Project
The Open Directory Project , also known as Dmoz , is a multilingual open content directory of World Wide Web links. It is owned by Netscape but it is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors.ODP uses a hierarchical ontology scheme for organizing site listings...
- IADA-CC, autograph networking site