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A MANUSCRIPT (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) is any document written by hand or typewritten , as opposed to being mechanically printed or reproduced in some indirect or automated way. More recently, it is understood to be an author's written, typed, or word-processed copy of a work, as distinguished from the print of the same. Before the arrival of printing , all documents and books were manuscripts. Manuscripts are not defined by their contents, which may combine writing with mathematical calculations, maps, explanatory figures or illustrations. Manuscripts may be in book form, scrolls or in codex format. Illuminated manuscripts are enriched with pictures, border decorations, elaborately embossed initial letters or full-page illustrations.

CONTENTS

* 1 Cultural background * 2 Modern variations * 3 European manuscript history

* 4 A sample of common genres of manuscripts

* 4.1 Bibles * 4.2 Book of hours * 4.3 Liturgical books and calendars

* 5 Scripts * 6 Parts * 7 Major U.S. repositories of medieval manuscripts * 8 See also * 9 References * 10 External links

CULTURAL BACKGROUND

Armenian Manuscript
Manuscript

The traditional abbreviations are MS for manuscript and MSS for manuscripts, while the forms MS., MS or MS. for singular, and MSS., MSS or MSS. for plural (with or without the full stop, all uppercase or all lowercase) are also accepted. The second _s_ is not simply the plural; by an old convention, it doubles the last letter of the abbreviation to express the plural, just as _pp._ means "pages".

Before the invention of woodblock printing in China or by moveable type in a printing press in Europe, all written documents had to be both produced and reproduced by hand. Historically, manuscripts were produced in form of scrolls (_volume_ in Latin) or books (_codex_, plural _codices_). Manuscripts were produced on vellum and other parchment, on papyrus , and on paper. In Russia birch bark documents as old as from the 11th century have survived. In India, the palm leaf manuscript , with a distinctive long rectangular shape, was used from ancient times until the 19th century. Paper
Paper
spread from China via the Islamic world to Europe
Europe
by the 14th century, and by the late 15th century had largely replaced parchment for many purposes.

When Greek or Latin
Latin
works were published, numerous professional copies were made simultaneously by scribes in a scriptorium , each making a single copy from an original that was declaimed aloud.

The oldest written manuscripts have been preserved by the perfect dryness of their Middle Eastern resting places, whether placed within sarcophagi in Egyptian tombs, or reused as mummy -wrappings, discarded in the middens of Oxyrhynchus
Oxyrhynchus
or secreted for safe-keeping in jars and buried ( Nag Hammadi library
Nag Hammadi library
) or stored in dry caves (Dead Sea scrolls ). Manuscripts in Tocharian languages , written on palm leaves, survived in desert burials in the Tarim Basin of Central Asia. Volcanic ash preserved some of the Roman library of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum . Gharib al-Hadith, by Abu `Ubayd al-Qasim b. Sallam al-Harawi (d. 223/837). The oldest known dated Arabic manuscript on paper in Leiden University Library , (dated 319 (931 AD)) Lectionary 183 Inside the letter is a picture of a master in cathedra expounding on the Aphorisms of Hippocrates. Initial "V" rendered as "U" of "Vita brevis, ars vero longa", or "Life is short, but the art is long". "Isagoge", fol. 15b. HMD Collection, MS E 78. Image of two facing pages of the illuminated manuscript of "Isagoge", fols. 42b and 43a. On the top of the left hand page is an illuminated letter "D" - initial of "De urinarum differencia negocium" (The matter of the differences of urines). Inside the letter is a picture of a master on bench pointing at a raised flask while lecturing on the "Book on urines" of Theophilus. The right hand page is only shown in part. On its very bottom is an illuminated letter "U" - initial of "Urina ergo est colamentum sanguinis" (Urine is the filtrate of the blood). Inside the letter is a picture of a master holding up a flask while explaining the diagnostic significance of urine to a student or a patient. HMD Collection, MS E 78.

Ironically, the manuscripts that were being most carefully preserved in the libraries of antiquity are virtually all lost. Papyrus
Papyrus
has a life of at most a century or two in relatively moist Italian or Greek conditions; only those works copied onto parchment, usually after the general conversion to Christianity, have survived, and by no means all of those.

Originally, all books were in manuscript form. In China, and later other parts of East Asia, woodblock printing was used for books from about the 7th century. The earliest dated example is the Diamond Sutra of 868. In the Islamic world and the West, all books were in manuscript until the introduction of movable type printing in about 1450. Manuscript
Manuscript
copying of books continued for a least a century, as printing remained expensive. Private or government documents remained hand-written until the invention of the typewriter in the late 19th century. Because of the likelihood of errors being introduced each time a manuscript was copied, the filiation of different versions of the same text is a fundamental part of the study and criticism of all texts that have been transmitted in manuscript.

In Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
, in the first millennium, documents of sufficiently great importance were inscribed on soft metallic sheets such as copperplate , softened by refiner's fire and inscribed with a metal stylus. In the Philippines
Philippines
, for example, as early as 900AD, specimen documents were not inscribed by stylus, but were punched much like the style of today's dot-matrix printers . This type of document was rare compared to the usual leaves and bamboo staves that were inscribed. However, neither the leaves nor paper were as durable as the metal document in the hot, humid climate. In Burma
Burma
, the kammavaca, Buddhist manuscripts, were inscribed on brass, copper or ivory sheets, and even on discarded monk robes folded and lacquered. In Italy
Italy
some important Etruscan texts were similarly inscribed on thin gold plates: similar sheets have been discovered in Bulgaria
Bulgaria
. Technically, these are all inscriptions rather than manuscripts.

The study of the writing, or "hand" in surviving manuscripts is termed palaeography . In the Western world, from the classical period through the early centuries of the Christian era , manuscripts were written without spaces between the words (scriptio continua ), which makes them especially hard for the untrained to read. Extant copies of these early manuscripts written in Greek or Latin
Latin
and usually dating from the 4th century to the 8th century, are classified according to their use of either all upper case or all lower case letters . Hebrew manuscripts, such as the Dead Sea scrolls make no such differentiation. Manuscripts using all upper case letters are called majuscule , those using all lower case are called minuscule . Usually, the majuscule scripts such as uncial are written with much more care. The scribe lifted his pen between each stroke, producing an unmistakable effect of regularity and formality. On the other hand, while minuscule scripts can be written with pen-lift, they may also be cursive , that is, use little or no pen-lift.

MODERN VARIATIONS

In the context of library science , a manuscript is defined as any hand-written item in the collections of a library or an archive. For example, a library's collection of hand-written letters or diaries is considered a manuscript collection. Such manuscript collections are described in finding aids, similar to an index or table of contents to the collection, in accordance with national and international content standards such as DACS and ISAD(G) .

In other contexts, however, the use of the term "manuscript" no longer necessarily means something that is hand-written. By analogy a _typescript_ has been produced on a typewriter.

In book, magazine, and music publishing, a manuscript is an original copy of a work written by an author or composer, which generally follows standardized typographic and formatting rules. (The staff paper commonly used for handwritten music is, for this reason, often called "manuscript paper"). In film and theatre, a manuscript, or _script_ for short, is an author's or dramatist's text, used by a theatre company or film crew during the production of the work's performance or filming. More specifically, a motion picture manuscript is called a screenplay; a television manuscript, a teleplay; a manuscript for the theatre, a stage play; and a manuscript for audio-only performance is often called a radio play, even when the recorded performance is disseminated via non-radio means.

In insurance, a manuscript policy is one that is negotiated between the insurer and the policyholder, as opposed to an off-the-shelf form supplied by the insurer.

EUROPEAN MANUSCRIPT HISTORY

Main article: Illuminated manuscript After plummeting in the Early Middle Ages , the high and late medieval period witnessed a sharp increase of manuscript production.

Most surviving pre-modern manuscripts use the codex format (as in a modern book), which had replaced the scroll by Late Antiquity . Parchment
Parchment
or vellum , as the best type of parchment is known, had also replaced papyrus , which was not nearly so long lived and has survived to the present only in the extremely dry conditions of Egypt
Egypt
, although it was widely used across the Roman world. Parchment
Parchment
is made of animal skin, normally calf, sheep, and/or goat, but also other animals. With all skins, the quality of the finished product is based on how much preparation and skill was put into turning the skin into parchment. Parchment
Parchment
made from calf or sheep was the most common in Northern Europe, while civilizations in Southern Europe
Europe
preferred goatskin. Often, if the parchment is white or cream in color and veins from the animal can still be seen, it is calfskin. If it is yellow, greasy or in some cases shiny, then it was made from sheepskin.

Vellum comes from the Latin
Latin
word vitulinum which means “of calf”/ “made from calf”. For modern parchment makers and calligraphers, and apparently often in the past, the terms parchment and vellum are used based on the different degrees of quality, preparation and thickness, and not according to which animal the skin came from, and because of this, the more neutral term "membrane" is often used by modern academics, especially where the animal has not been established by testing.

Because they are books, pre-modern manuscripts are best described using bibliographic rather than archival standards. The standard endorsed by the American Library Association is known as AMREMM. A growing digital catalog of pre-modern manuscripts is Digital Scriptorium , hosted by the University of California at Berkeley.

A SAMPLE OF COMMON GENRES OF MANUSCRIPTS

From ancient texts to medieval maps, anything written down for study would have been done with manuscripts. Some of the most common genres were bibles, religious commentaries, philosophy, law and government texts.

BIBLES

The Bible was the most studied book of the Middle Ages.” The Bible was the center of medieval religious life. Along with the Bible came scores of commentaries. Commentaries were written in volumes, with some focusing on just single pages of scripture. Across Europe, there were universities that prided themselves on their biblical knowledge. Along with universities, certain cities also had their own celebrities of biblical knowledge during the medieval period.

BOOK OF HOURS

The Pentecost, from an illuminated Catholic liturgical manuscript, c.1310-1320

A book of hours is a type of devotional text which was widely popular during the Middle Ages. They are the most common type of surviving medieval illuminated manuscripts . Each book of hours contain a similar collection of texts, prayers , and psalms but decoration can vary between each and each example. Many have minimal illumination, often restricted to ornamented initials , but books of hours made for wealthier patrons can be extremely extravagant with full-page miniatures .

LITURGICAL BOOKS AND CALENDARS

Along with Bibles, large numbers of manuscripts made in the Middle Ages were revieved in Church. Due to the complex church system of rituals and worship these books were the most elegantly written and finely decorated of all medieval manuscripts. Liturgical books usually came in two varieties. Those used during mass and those for divine office.

Most liturgical books came with a calendar in the front. This served as a quick reference point for important dates in Jesus' life and to tell church officials which saints were to be honored and on what day. The format of the liturgical calendar was as follows:

_an example of a medieval liturgical calendar_

JANUARY, AUGUST, DECEMBER MARCH, MAY, JULY, OCTOBER APRIL, JUNE, SEPTEMBER, NOVEMBER FEBRUARY

Kal. (1) Kal. (1) Kal. (1) Kal. (1)

IV Non. (2) VI Non. (2) IV Non. (2) IV Non. (2)

III Non. (3) V Non. (3) III Non. (3) III Non. (3)

II Non. (4) IV Non. (4) II Non. (4) II Non. (4)

Non. (5) III Non. (5) Non. (5) Non. (5)

VIII Id. (6) II Non. (6) VIII Id. (6) VIII Id. (6)

VII Id. (7) Non. (7) VII Id. (7) VII Id. (7)

VI Id. (8) VIII Id. (8) VI Id. (8) VI Id. (8)

V Id. (9) VII Id. (9) V Id. (9) V Id. (9)

IV Id. (10) VII Id. (10) IV Id. (10) IV Id. (10)

III Id. (11) V Id. (11) III Id. (11) III Id. (11)

II Id. (12) IV Id. (12) II Id. (12) II Id. (12)

Id (13) III Id. (13) Id. (13) Id. (13)

XIX Kal. (14) II Id. (14) XVIII Kal. (14) XVI Kal. (14)

XVIII Kal. (15) Id. (15) XVII Kal. (15) XV Kal. (15)

XVII Kal. (16) XVII Kal. (16) XVI Kal. (16) XIV Kal. (16)

XVI Kal. (17) XVI Kal. (17) XV Kal. (17) XIII Kal. (17)

XV Kal. (18) XV Kal. (18) XIV Kal. (18) XII Kal. (18)

XIV Kal. (19) XIV Kal. (19) XIII Kal. (19) XI Kal. (19)

XIII Kal. (20) XIII Kal. (20 XII Kal. (20) X Kal. (20)

XII Kal. (21) XII Kal. (21) XI Kal. (21) IX Kal. (21)

XI Kal. (22) XI Kal. (22) X Kal. (22) VIII Kal. (22)

X Kal. (23) X Kal. (23) IX Kal. (23) VII Kal. (23)

IX Kal. (24) IX Kal. (24) VIII Kal. (24) VI Kal (_the extra day in a leap year_)

VIII Kal. (25) VIII Kal. (25) VII Kal. (25) VI Kal. (24/25)

VII Kal. (26) VII Kal. (26) VI Kal. (26) V Kal. (25/26)

VI Kal. (27) VI Kal. (27) V Kal. (28) V Kal. (26/27)

V Kal. (28) V Kal. (28) V Kal. (28) V Kal. (27/28)

IV Kal. (29) IV Kal. (29) III Kal. (29) III Kal. (28/29)

III Kal. (30) III Kal. (30) II Kal. (30)

II Kal. (31) II Kal. (31)

Almost all medieval calendars give each day's date according to the Roman method of reckoning time. In the Roman system, each month had three fixed points known as Kalends (Kal), the Nons and the Ides. The Nones fell on the fifth of the month in January, February, April, June, August, September, November and December, but on the seventh of the month in March, May, July and October. The Ides fell on the thirteenth in those months in which the Nones fell on the fifth, and the fifteenth in the other four months. All other days were dated by the number of days by which they preceded one of those fixed points.

SCRIPTS

Manuscript, Codex
Codex
Manesse Most manuscripts were ruled with horizontal lines that served as the baselines on which the text was entered.

Merovingian script , or "Luxeuil minuscule", is named after an abbey in Western France, the Luxeuil Abbey , founded by the Irish missionary St Columba ca. 590. Caroline minuscule is a calligraphic script developed as a writing standard in Europe
Europe
so that the Latin
Latin
alphabet could be easily recognized by the literate class from different regions. It was used in the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
between approximately 800 and 1200. Codices, classical and Christian texts, and educational material were written in Carolingian minuscule throughout the Carolingian Renaissance . The script developed into blackletter and became obsolete, though its revival in the Italian renaissance forms the basis of more recent scripts. In _Introduction to Manuscript Studies_, Clemens and Graham associate the beginning of this text coming from the Abby of Saint-Martin at Tours
Tours
.

Caroline Minuscule arrived in England in the second half of the 10th century. Its adoption there, replacing Insular script, was encouraged by the importation of continental European manuscripts by Saints Dunstan, Aethelwold, and Oswald. This script spread quite rapidly, being employed in many English centres for copying Latin
Latin
texts. English scribes adapted the Carolingian script, giving it proportion and legibility. This new revision of the Caroline Minuscule was called English Protogothic Bookhand. Another script that is derived from the Caroline Minuscule was the German Protogothic Bookhand. It originated in southern Germany during the second half of the 12th century. All the individual letters are Caroline; but just as with English Protogothic Bookhand it evolved. This can be seen most notably in the arm of the letter h. It has a hairline that tapers out by curving to the left. When first read the German Protogothic h looks like the German Protogothic b. Many more scripts sprang out of the German Protogothic Bookhand. After those came Bastard Anglicana, which is best described as: lipi = pandu lipi pura lipi vignayani

The coexistence in the Gothic period of formal hands employed for the copying of books and cursive scripts used for documentary purposes eventually resulted in cross-fertilization between these two fundamentally different writing styles. Notably, scribes began to upgrade some of the cursive scripts. A script that has been thus formalized is known as a _bastard_ script (whereas a bookhand that has had cursive elements fused onto it is known as a hybrid script). The advantage of such a script was that it could be written more quickly than a pure bookhand; it thus recommended itself to scribes in a period when demand for books was increasing and authors were tending to write longer texts. In England during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, many books were written in the script known as Bastard Anglicana.

PARTS

* Cover * Flyleaf * Colophon * incipit * decoration; illustrations * dimensions * Shelfmark or Signature in holding library

(as opposed to printed Catalog number)

* works/compositions included in same ms * codicological elements: * deletions method: erasure? overstrike? dots above letters? * headers/footers * page format/layout: columns? text and surrounding commentary/additions/glosses? * interpolations * owners' marginal notations/corrections * owner signatures * dedication/inscription * censor signatures * collation (quires) * foliation * Binding * materials: paper/vellum/papyrus/uncials * Ink * writing implement used * pastedown * page numeration * paleographic elements: * script (one or more?) * dating * line fillers * rubrication * ruled lines * leading word at bottom corner of page to indicate what first word on next page is * historical elements of ms: blood, wine etc. stains * condition: (e.g. smokiness/evidence of fire) * mold * wormed *

MAJOR U.S. REPOSITORIES OF MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPTS

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* Armenian Illuminated manuscript * Dead Sea Scrolls * Digital Scriptorium * Genkō yōshi * Gospel Book
Gospel Book
* List of Hiberno-Saxon illustrated manuscripts * Manuscript culture * Miniature (illuminated manuscript) * Music manuscript * Palm-leaf manuscript * Preservation of Illuminated Manuscripts * Printing
Printing
press * Voynich manuscript * Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing

REFERENCES

* ^ http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/manuscript * ^ "manuscript". _ Oxford English Dictionary _ (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press . September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) * ^ Harper, Douglas. "Manuscript." Online Etymology Dictionary. November 2001. Accessed 10-11-2007. * ^ "Medieval English Literary Manuscripts." www.Library.Rtruuochester.Edu. 22 June 2004. University of Rochester Libraries. Accessed 10-11-2007. * ^ "Manuscript" (abbreviated ms. and mss.) in British Library Glossaries, The British Library
The British Library
. Accessed 12 March 2016. * ^ "ms", "ms." and "MS" in The Free Dictionary (American Heritage 2011 and Random House Kernerman Webster's 2010). Accessed 12 March 2016. * ^ "MSS", "mss" and "mss." in The Free Dictionary (American Heritage 2011, Collins 2014 and Random House Kernerman Webster's 2010). Accessed 12 March 2016. * ^ "MSS" (MS. and ms., MSS. and mss.) in Dictionary.com LLC(Random House 2014 and Collins 2012). Accessed 12 March 2016. * ^ Merriam-Webster , _Merriam-Webster\'s Collegiate Dictionary_, Merriam-Webster. * ^ Buringh, Eltjo; van Zanden, Jan Luiten: "Charting the “Rise of the West”: Manuscripts and Printed Books in Europe, A Long-Term Perspective from the Sixth through Eighteenth Centuries", _The Journal of Economic History_, Vol. 69, No. 2 (2009), pp. 409–445 (416, table 1) * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ _H_ Clemens, Raymond, and Timothy Graham. Introduction to Manuscript
Manuscript
Studies. Ithaca: Cornell University Press , 2008. * ^ Pass, Gregory. Descriptive Cataloging of Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern Manuscripts. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2002. * ^ Beryl Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages. 3rd ed. (Oxford, 1983), xxvii * ^ F.P. Pickering, The Calendar Pages of Medieval Service Books: An Introductory Note for Art Historians (Reading, UK., 1980. * ^ Brown, Michelle P. _Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts_. Toronto, 1991. * ^ Brown, Michelle P. _A Guide to Western Historical Scripts from Antiquity to 1600_. Toronto,1990. * ^ Clemens, Raymond, and Timothy Graham. "English Protogothic Bookhand." In Introduction to Manuscript
Manuscript
Studies. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008. 146-147. * ^ Clemens, Raymond, and Timothy Graham. "German Protogothic Bookhand." In Introduction to