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a. a book, document, etc., handwritten by its author; original manuscript; holograph
b. (as modifier): an autograph letter
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) A handwritten inscription or signature.

(2) A handwritten author’s manuscript. Autographs form an important source for establishing the canonical (recognized as authentic) text of a work and are valuable material for studying the creative process of writers, scholars, and historical figures. The collection and custody of autographs is one of the functions of archives, libraries, and museums. In the USSR, manuscripts by K. Marx, F. Engels, V. I. Lenin, and several leaders of the CPSU are kept at the Central Party Archive of the CPSU Central Committee’s Institute of Marxism-Leninism. There are large collections of writers’ autographs at the V. I. Lenin State Library of the USSR and the State Literature Museum in Moscow, at the M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library and the Institute of Russian Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (Pushkin House) in Leningrad, and in many memorial museums.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
We can see a clear example of the difference between the autographical method and the biographical method in the case of the late play Ohio Impromptu, a composition written for performance at a conference of Beckett scholars:
Abbott suggests that Beckett's late writings take their structure not from narrative but from music, "a kind of autographical music" (62).
Even more problematic is Abbott's attempt to lead us to an understanding of Beckett's writing as what he calls an "autographical action": an immediate action taking place as written (ix).
If "autographical action" is to join literary theory's already congested inventory of terminology, then Abbott must present a stronger case, but in his readings of the artist and of the work itself he makes a solid contribution to the study of one of literature's true enigmas.
Indeed, autographical action is the thesis that subtends the diverse subjects treated in the book, subjects that extend from the postnarrativity of Beckett's art (the result, precisely, of the undoing of the generative illusion) and its advancement of the utopian literary tradition (the undoing of the myth of Beckett's apoliticism) to the "agony of perceivedness," the self-conscious awareness of audience and reader characteristic of all Beckett's work.
Briefly, it requires turning the text around and seeing the characters in it, not as representations, but as a kind of autographical action, the energetic track of what Woolf sometimes called her "personality." Over the years, "personality" developed a special status for Woolf as a term for personhood, though one can find anticipations of that later usage early in her diaries.
Her autographical awareness - reading for her own signature - was arguably something she shared with Joyce, Proust, Valery, H.