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Useful Bibliographic Terms: Writings and publications

Written materials


Manuscript - Any document written by hand. Author's typed or handwritten copy, not a publication.
Autograph -  A manuscript written and/or signed by the author or composer. 
Holograph - A document wholly in the handwriting of its author. 
Draft - A sketch, plan, or drawing of a work to be executed. 
Facsimile - An exact copy of a document.
Transcription - 1) A copy in modern notation. 2) Copying into legible form, in original notation or language. 3) Arrangement of a composition for a different medium, e.g. Liszt's piano transcriptions of Beethoven's symphonies.
Fair copy - Neat copy of a corrected draft. 


Types of publications

Monograph - A scholarly study of a single subject.
Treatise - A written, systematic exposition or argument including a methodical discussion of principles involved and conclusions reached.
Periodical, Serial - Both terms refer to publications issued at regular intervals.  Periodical usually refers to publicatons that will continue indefinitely.  Serial can also refer to a publication that will not continue indefinitely, e.g. a serialized novel.

Journal - An academic or scholarly periodical.
Magazine - 1) A periodical focusing on a specific subject area. 2) A periodical of popular, as opposed to scholarly, interest.
Proceedings - A published report of a scholarly conference or meeting, including the papers presented or abstracts thereof.
Festschrift - A collection of articles published to honor a scholar of distinction.
Necrology - 1) An obituary. 2) A list of members of an organization, such as a church, who have died, or a list of people who have died within a certain time-span. Such records may also contain biographical information about each individual.