This dictionary was originally inspired by John Carter’s ABC for Book
Collectors (first published in 1952). What he had done for books it seemed
reasonable to do for manuscripts. Not, however, that the audience would be
the same, for it is not necessarily collectors who handle manuscripts most.
Almost everyone has been using, writing, annotating, or signing documents
of one kind or another, whether letters, shopping lists, or tax forms, for most
of their lives.