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Manuscript (Latin manu scriptus written by hand) is any work that is prepared by writing it down by hand in contrast to being printed or reproduced in any other way. Before the discovery of print, people copied documents by hand.

A manuscript is usually preserved in form of a book, codex in Latin, but other forms of manuscript exist, such as a roll. Historically manuscripts are have usually been written on either parchment, papyrus or paper. In the classical period, words were written without spaces between them (scriptio continua), which makes them especially hard for the untrained to read.

In Library and Information Science, a manuscript can refer to any hand-written item in the collections of a library or archive[?], e.g. archived letters or diary from a person.

In film and theatre, a manuscript, or script for short, is an author's or dramatist's text being used by a publisher for making a book (after editing[?]) or by a theater company[?] or film crew for making a performance.

The word manuscript is often abbreviated to MS., plural MSS.

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