Criteria for Describing Manuscripts and Documents
For decades the manuscript market was an integral part of the book trade. With the rapidly evolving interest in autographs, manuscripts and documents, a large independent market has opened up with many dealers handling only manuscript material. Through this rapid growth period, there have been no general standards available for describing and grading manuscripts and documents. Although there are examples in many catalogues of good descriptive criteria, collectively there are many differences in the criteria used from one dealer to another. Often much is left to the imagination of the buyer and collector. It was clear that there was a pressing need to adopt a standardized format for describing and grading manuscript material.