Autographs, autographs, are the descriptive descrip- tions of a composer, author, poet, artist or other well-known personality from politics, science, art, literature and history. Under autographs, an autograph is considered to be particularly valuable if, in addition to the person’s manuscript, it also bears its signature. Since the 17th century in France and England, as well as the 18th century in Germany, such autographs have been specifically collected as a material reminder of a well-known personality. The sole signature, which is not next to a lecture, is called an autograph.
The term goes back to Greek and derives from autógraphos (αὐτόγραφος). This word can be translated as either by hand or by hand. Following the translation, an autograph would be any piece of work written by a person independently. In the narrower sense, however, the term primarily refers to the manuscripts of known persons, such as notes, manuscripts, diaries, minutes or notations. Let’s look at an example: Autograph of the composer Beethoven
The above example shows the note-written notes of the beginnings of Beethoven’s E major sonata (op. 109). The individual notes were placed by the composer himself and are therefore not printed or otherwise duplicated. In this case, one could also speak of an original.
Such autographs can be found in almost all areas, and are therefore equally to be found in science and art. Their value increases, of course, when the author is popular or has a certain degree of familiarity. Let us look at further examples of. Once a writing by the poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and one by Johann Sebastian Bach.More examples of Goethe and Bach
Well-Tempered Clavier (Bach), The Sorrows of Young Werther (Goethe)
The above examples again show the records of famous personalities. On the left, it is the title page of Bach’s well-tempered Clavier, a collection of preludes and fugues for a keyboard instrument, and on the right, it is the only surviving sheet of the manuscript of Goethe’s The sufferings of the young Werther from the estate of Charlotte von Stein. The examples can be referred to as autograph, but in this case they do not bear any signature by the artists.
Development and recording of autographs
The safeguarding and archiving of such autographs is essential for the edition, that is, the publication of a publication, since such records are, of course, important in order to evaluate how an artist had created his own work. In case of doubt, the original is required.
Furthermore, such autographs are kept by libraries, archives or even private collections, and are often made accessible to the general public. In recent years, numerous autographs have been digitized and made accessible online, making the search for original texts possible and made easier for many people. The Kalliope portal is the central database.
The Kalliope portal is an information system for rebates and autographs in libraries, archives and museums. The portal is operated by the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin, with 2200448 autographs, 18864 collections and 237142 persons (online: kalliope.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de).
Short overview: The most important part of the term at a glance
The autograph, partly also the autograph, is the descriptive title of a composer, writer, poet, artist or well-known personality from politics, science, art, literature and history. Such autographs have an enormous value, especially for collectors. This is determined by the author’s notoriety, the rarity of the writings, or the explosiveness of the respective content. They are increasingly being collected since the 17th century.
Note: The plural of the word, ie autographs, is in fact unlawful, but has become natural. The classical name would be Autographa, whereby the German equivalent could be a self-written or original. These words, however, are hardly common because they are not internationally understandable.