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PRESENTS:
A BASIC COURSE FOR AUTOGRAPH COLLECTORS

Chapter XI: Autograph Terminology.

Begin to learn the criteria used by professional autograph dealers when describing a signature, letter or document. It’s learning the tools of the trade. When you see a description know the difference between an “L.S.” verses an “A.L.S.” You need to understand what “n.d” or “n.y” or verso verses recto means. In my opinion the very best source for this is a pamphlet produced by the Manuscript Society in 1990 edited by Norman F. Boas. Some dealers catalogs also may have an abbreviated version of this printed in the beginning of each catalog. If you don’t learn how to properly read a dealers description, you may end up getting something different than you had hoped for.
 
In autograph terminology the following abbreviations are used to describe the type signed letter or document that is being offered:
 
  • 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 (much 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)
  • PS: Photograph Signed or Postcard Signed
  • SIG: Signature
  • 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.)



Chapter XII: Autograph Education (Continued)

 

 

 

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