A manuscript (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) was, traditionally, any document that is written by hand – or, once practical typewriters became available, typewritten — as opposed to being mechanically printed or reproduced in some indirect or automated way. More recently, the term has come to be understood to further include any written, typed, or word-processed copy of an author's work, as distinguished from its rendition as a printed version 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, music notation, explanatory figures or illustrations.

Manuscript Media

274,955 media by topicpage 1 of 2750
Part of a Ten-Piece Set of Printed Ritual Stakes (Khram Shing)
Part of a Ten-Piece Set of Printed Ritual Stakes (Khram Shing)
Page from a Notebook with Ritual Symbols, Himalayan (Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan)
Page from a copy of the Qur'an
Page from a Copy of The Qur'an
Folio from a Qur'an manuscript, North Africa
Page from the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra (Astasahasrika Prajnaparamitasutra), Himalayan (Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan)
Leonard Bernstein to Marc Blitzstein, July 20, 1962

Leonard Bernstein to Marc Blitzstein, July 20, 1962

excerpt: "Am here Bay of Naples, en route to Monte Carlo & Spain, I think of you, S & V, being Jewish your Arabic [maid?]. I hope all continues to be as joyful as before."

Qur'an Manuscript
Qur'an leaf in Eastern Kufic script, miniature painting
Manuscript Cover with Six Seated Buddhas with Various Hand Gestures (Mudras)
Manuscript Cover from the Fiive Protectors (Pancharaksha), Himalayan (Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan)
One of a Pair of Manuscript Covers of the Five Transcendent Buddhas
Bifolia from a Vita Sanctorum, or Lives of the Saints
One of Three Leaves from the  Perfection of Wisdom Sutra (Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamitasutra)
Saint Gregory as Author
Qur'an Manuscript in Muhaqqaq
Two Goats from Manafi' al-Hayawan (On the Usefulness of Animals) of Ibn Bakhtishu'
Dante and Virgil from BL YT 36, f. 14

Dante and Virgil from BL YT 36, f. 14

Detail of a miniature of Dante and Virgil being rowed across the river Styx by a demon rower, Phlegyas, and Dante and Virgil at the brazen gates of the city of Dis, in illustration of Canto VIII. Image taken fr... More

Page from a copy of the Qur'an, North Africa
Manuscript Cover from the Five Protectors (Pancharaksha), Himalayan (Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan)
Figure with Scythe, Illuminated Initials "KL" or "BV" recto, and Fish with Lobster Claws, verso, from a Psalter or Book of Hours
Table of Bigamy, from the Summa Super Titulis Decretalium Completa
Viper in a Rocky Garden from Manafi' al-Hayawan (On the Usefulness of Animals) of Ibn Bakhtishu'
Praying Saint (Moses?) with Christ in a Historiated Initial "L", from a Choirbook
Bishop at Mass in a Historiated Initial "P" from a Choirbook
Decorated Initial "Q" with Three Balls and Six Leaves from a Choir Book
Decorated Initial "D" with Acanthus Leaves from a Choir Book
Decorated Initial "E" with Flowers from a Choir Book
Leviticus from BL Add 15282, f. 137

Leviticus from BL Add 15282, f. 137

Full-page miniature with diamonds inhabited by lions and spread eagles both crowned, and with the initial-word panel ~Wa-yiqra~ (and [the Lord] called) in its centre, at the beginning of Leviticus. Image taken ... More

Decorated Initial "O" with Flowers from a Choir Book
Decorated Initial "L" with Flowers from a Choir Book
Decorated Initial "A" in Pink with Six Leaves and Two Balls, from a Choir Book
Decorated Initial "I" with Acorns and Leaves from a Choir Book
Decorated Initial "I" in Blue with Foliage and Four Balls, from a Choir Book
Decorated Initial "P" with Flowers from a Manuscript
Decorated Initial "I" with Leaves from a Choir Book
Angel in a Historiated Initial "A" from an Antiphonary
Peacock, Birds, Flowers, Fruit and a Snail in a Decorated Border, with an Illuminated Initial "U" from a Choir Book
Decorated Initial "G" with Flowers from a Choir Book
Decorated Initial "A" in Pink with Six Oak Leaves from a Manuscript
Decorated Initial "G" in Pink with Curling Leaves from a Manuscript
Decorated Initial "G" in Red with Conventional Flower from a Manuscript
Decorated Initial "O" with Six Oak Leaves and Two Balls
Decorated Initial "M" in Pink with Conventional Leaves from a Choir Book
Decorated Initial "Q" in Blue with Four Oak Leaves from a Manuscript
Decorated Initial "A" in Blue with Leaves from a Manuscript
Decorated Initial "G" in Grey with Red, Green and Blue Leaves from a Manuscript
Rustam slaying jackal, from the Shahnama of Firdausi
Nimbed Saint in a Historiated Initial "I" from an Antiphonary
Saint Dominic in a Historiated Initial "G" from an Antiphonary
Saint Agnes in a Historiated Initial "V" from an Antiphonary
Joseph and his Brothers at the Well, Initial V from an Antiphonary
Saint Kneeling Before God Enthroned in a Historiated Initial "V" from an Antiphonary
Martyr Saint in a Historiated Initial "V" from an Antiphonary
Christ Blessing Three Young Men, initial M from a Gradual
The Ascension of St. Dominic in a Historiated Initial "G" from a Gradual
Abraham Drawing the Children of Israel to His Breast, and Christ with Kneeling Monks, from an Antiphonary
Female Saint in a Historiated Initial "L" from a Choir Book
Bishop Saint Zenobius in a Historiated Initial "N" with Decorated Border from a Laudario
Two Saints and Two Bishops in a Historiated Initial "E" from a Choir Book
Scenes from the Miracles of St. Peter, from a Bible Historiale or Pictorial New Testament
The Marriage of Hosea and Gomer in a Historiated Initial "V" from a Bible
Page from a copy of the Qur'an
Page from a copy of the Qur'an
Saint Benedict Presenting his Rule to Benedictine and Cistercian Monks in a Historiated Initial "O" from a Choirbook
Saint Francis in a Historiated Initial "P"
The Adoration of the Magi in a Historiated Initial "E" from a Choirbook
Saints Peter and Paul in a Historiated Initial "N" from a Choirbook
The Nativity in a Historiated Initial "P" from a Choir Book
Prophet in a Historiated Initial "O" from a Gradual
St. Francis of Assisi with Donors in a Historiated Initial from an Unidentified Manuscript
Stonyhurst Hours (Use of Sarum), Flanders
Coronation of the Virgin with Decorative Border from a Prayerbook
Saint Peter in a Historiated Initial "E" from a Gradual
Prayer Board, Himalayan (Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan)
Figure of Justice and Shield with Lions Rampant
Decorated Initial with Grotesque in Profile from a Choir Book
Illuminated Border with Snail, Insect, Bird, Grotesques and Flowers from a Manuscript
Illuminated Border with Grotesques and Flora from a Manuscript
Illuminated Border with Grapes, Birds and Grotesques from a Manuscript
The Virgin Adored by Saints in a Historiated Initial "R" from an Antiphonary
The Assumption of the Virgin in a Historiated Initial "A" from an Antiphonary
The Annunciation in a Historiated Initial "M" from an Antiphonary
Illuminated Border with Grotesques and Flora from a Manuscript
Illuminated Initial "H" from a Prayerbook
Decorated Initial "D" with Leaves and Two Balls from a Choir Book
One of a Pair of Manuscript Covers from the Five Protectors (Pancharaksha)
Illuminated Border with Grotesques, Grapes and Berries from a Manuscript
Decorated Initial "A" with Grotesque and Flora from a Choir Book
Illuminated Border with Flora and Grotesques from a Manuscript
The Pentecost, from a Book of Hours
Text Leaf from a Book of Hours
Saint in a Historiated Initial from a Choirbook
Jacob and Rachel Lamenting their Son Joseph, England
Nehemiah before King Artaxerxes, initial ‘C’ from a Bible
Christ and a Pharisee in a Historiated Initial "D" from a Gradual
Nativity in an Initial H
The Murder of Thomas Becket, page one, from a Book of Hours
The Murder of Thomas Becket, page two, from a Book of Hours
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