The Manuscript Society



2015-06-26 10:52:41

The Manuscript Society is the oldest society of autograph and manuscript collectors in the United States.

Formed in 1948 as the National Society of Autograph Collectors, the society has become an international organization with members in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. In 1953 the name was changed to the Manuscript Society in recognition of the fact that its membership included archivists, manuscript curators, librarians, and prominent manuscript dealers and auction houses.

The society produces ‘Manuscripts’, a highly-respected quarterly journal and a quarterly newsletter ‘The Manuscript Society News’ along with occasional reference books on various areas of manuscript collecting and authentication.

It also organizes regular annual meetings, local events and a scholarship program for its members.

Code of ethics

All members abide by a strict code of ethics when dealing in manuscripts and autographs. Rules featured in the code include:

  • “No manuscript which is not authentic shall be knowingly purchased, sold or exchanged by a member of the Society unless all elements relating to its lack of authenticity are described in writing, provided to other parties to any transaction as an essential element thereof, and accompany the manuscript in question at the time of its delivery to the new owner.”
  • “The seller is required to state in writing the terms in which he or she sells autographs or related materials, and to include a reasonable right to return items with a guarantee of a full refund on returned material. The purchaser has the right to return items received which are not as described by the seller.”
  • “Members are expected to cooperate with law enforcement authorities and the Society's Ethics Board, as well as kindred Boards of Societies operated by collectors and dealers in manuscripts, in their investigations of allegations concerning thefts of autographs, manuscripts and the like and trafficking in stolen materials.”

Officers and trustees


  • President: Barton L. Smith
  • Vice President: Beverly Hill
  • Treasurer: Anthony Loscalzo
  • Executive Director: Dr. Shirley J. Sands


  • Ending 2011: Samuel Fore, Brian Kathenes, Richard Lamm, David Lowenherz, Edward Siskin
  • Ending 2012: Francis Brennan, Michael Dabrishus, Elizabeth Dow, Stuart Embury, Judith Gibson
  • Ending 2013: Robert Hopper, Alfred Lemmon, Edward Quinn, Joseph Rubinfine, L. Dennis Shapiro
  • Life Member: Dolly Maass
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