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What might be considered the oldest "autograph" is a Sumerian clay table from about 3100 BC which includes the name of the scribe Gar.Ama. No ancient written autographs have been found, and the earliest one known for a major historical figure is that of El Cid from 1098.
"Autograph" can refer to a document transcribed entirely in the handwriting of its author, as opposed to a typeset document or one written by an amanuensis or a copyist. This meaning overlaps that of "holograph".
Autograph collecting is the hobby of collecting autographs of famous persons. Some of the most popular categories of autograph subjects are presidents, military soldiers, athletes, movie stars, artists, social and religious leaders, scientists, astronauts, and authors.
- Thompson, Edward Maunde (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 45–47. . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.).
- Gove, Philip B. (ed.), 1981. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, p. 147. ISBN 0-87779-206-2
- Tomita, Yo (2016). "Autographs, Copies and Original Manuscripts". In Leaver, Robin A. (ed.). The Routledge Research Companion to Johann Sebastian Bach. Taylor & Francis. pp. 52–54. ISBN 9781315452807.
- "The Earliest Autograph Signatures (Circa 3,100 BCE) : HistoryofInformation.com".
- Fletcher, Richard A. (1 January 1989). "The Quest for El Cid". Oxford University Press – via Google Books.
- Collecting Autographs and Manuscripts by Charles Hamilton, Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1961, 269 pages.
- Autographs and Manuscripts: A Collector's Manual edited by Ed Berkeley, Charles Scribner's Sons Pub., 1978, 565 pages.