You are on page 1of 2

Manuscript Christ Pantocrator seated in a capital "U" in an illuminated manuscript from the Badische Landesbibliothek, Germany.

10th-century minuscule manuscript ofThucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War A manuscript is any document written by hand, as opposed to being printed or reproduced in some other way. Before the arrival of printing, all documents and books were manuscripts. In publishing and academic contexts, a manuscript is the text submitted to the publisher or printer in preparation for publication, regardless of the format. Until recently a typescript prepared on a typewriter was usual, but today a digital file with a printout, prepared in manuscript format is most common. 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. They were written by earlier people. Cultural background

Armenian Manuscript The traditional abbreviations are MS for manuscript and MSS for manuscripts.[1][2] 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).

written on palm leaves. Gharib al-Hadith. The earliest dated example is the Diamond Sutra of 868. In China. only those works copied onto parchment. Paper spread from China via the Islamic world to Europe by the 14th century. Manuscript copying of books continued for a least a century. the filiation of different version of the same text is a fundamental part of the study and criticism of all texts that have been transmitted in manuscript. Originally. all books were in manuscript form. numerous professional copies were made simultaneously by scribes in a scriptorium. on papyrus. whether placed within sarcophagi in Egyptian tombs. all books were in manuscript until the introduction of movable type printing in about 1450. and on paper. as printing remained expensive. was used from ancient times until the 19th century. Sallam al-Harawi (d. Woodblock printing was used for books from about the 7th century. with a distinctive long rectangular shape. In the Islamic world and the West. the manuscripts that were being most carefully preserved in the libraries of Antiquity are virtually all lost. usually after the general conversion to Christianity. or reused as mummy-wrappings. by Abu `Ubayd al-Qasim b. The oldest known dated Arabic manuscript on paper in Leiden. The oldest written manuscripts have been preserved by the perfect dryness of their Middle Eastern resting places. and by the late 15th century had largely replaced parchment for many purposes.Manuscripts were produced on vellum and other parchment. In India the Palm leaf manuscript. Manuscripts in Tocharian languages. Because of the likelihood of errors being introduced each time a manuscript was copied. When Greek or Latin works were published. . have survived. survived in desert burials in the Tarim Basin of Central Asia. In Russia birch bark documents as old as from the 11th century have survived. each making a single copy from an original that was declaimed aloud. 223/837). discarded in the middens of Oxyrhynchus or secreted for safe-keeping in jars and buried (Nag Hammadi library) or stored in dry caves (Dead Sea scrolls). Private or government documents remained hand-written until the invention of the typewriter in the late 19th century. and by no means all of those. and later other parts of East Asia. Papyrus has a life of at most a century or two in relatively moist Italian or Greek conditions. (dated 319 (931 AD)) Lectionary 183 Ironically. Volcanic ash preserved some of the Roman library of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum.