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A manuscript or handwrit is a recording of information that has been manually created by someone or some people, such as a hand-written letter, as opposed to being printed or reproduced some other way. The term may also be used for information that is hand-recorded in other ways than writing, for example inscriptions that are chiselled upon a hard material or scratched (the original meaning of graffiti) as with a knife point in plaster or with a stylus on a waxed tablet, (the way Romans made notes), or are in cuneiform writing, impressed with a pointed stylus in a flat tablet of unbaked clay. The word manuscript is derived from the Latin manu scriptum, literally "written by hand."

In publishing and academic contexts, a "manuscript" is the text submitted to the publisher or printer in preparation for publication, usually as a typescript prepared on a typewriter, or today, a printout from a PC, prepared in manuscript format.

Manuscripts are not defined by their contents, which may combine writing with mathematical calculations, maps, explanatory figures or illustrations. Manuscripts may be in the form of scrolls or in book form, or codex format. Illuminated manuscripts are enriched with pictures, border decorations, elaborately engrossed initial letters or full-page illustrations.[1]