Abbreviations Used By Archivists

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Phone: 319-335-5921
Fax: 319-335-5900
e-mail: lib-spec@uiowa.edu

p = page(s); used to indicate number of manuscript, typewritten, or printed pages. One sheet with text on both sides is 2p.

cc = carbon copy; "cc" precedes the abbreviation for the physical description. For example, "ccTMs" indicates a carbon copy of a typed manuscript, not the ribbon copy.

pc = photocopy; also precedes the abbreviation for the physical description, for example "pcTMs."

AMs Autograph Manuscript Autograph Manuscript; nonlegal or nonofficial papers such as speeches, biographical sketches, sermons, reminiscences, stories, poems, and other such items of a generally narrative nature, in the hand of the author, but not signed.
AMsS Autograph Manuscript Signed Manuscript (See AMs) in the hand of
and signed by the author
TMs Typewritten Manuscript Typewritten manuscript not signed
by the author (See AMs)
TMsS Typewritten Manuscript Signed Author-signed typewritten
manuscript (See AMsS)
ALS Autograph Letter Signed A letter in the hand of and signed by the author
L Letter An unsigned written communication in the hand of a clerk or person other than the author
LS Letter Signed A letter in the hand of a person other than the author but signed by the author
TL Typewritten Letter Any mechanically reproduced letter, such as mimeographed, offset, ditto, diazo. Included here are letters signed with rubber stamps, mimeograph, or any other artificial means of reproducing the author's signature
TLS Typewritten Letter Signed A typewritten letter signed by its author
PC Postcard Postal service or picture postcard; not used for greeting or holiday cards.
AC Autograph Card An unsigned handwritten card or message on a printed greeting card.
ACS Autograph Card Signed Any card used in correspondence written, or with a message, by the author and signed.
TC Typewritten Card An unsigned typewritten greeting card
TCS Typewritten Card Signed A signed typewritten greeting card
D Document Any paper of legal or official nature such as an indenture, deed, certificate, receipt, etc. Included here are printed documents of the type described above with manuscript additions. Also included are documents signed by a clerk or other person in the name of the author.
DS Document Signed A document written by another person but signed by the author.
ADS Autograph Document Signed A document written and signed by the author.
TD Typewritten Document A typewritten or otherwise mechanically reproduced (except printed) document.(See "D")
TDS Typewritten Document Signed A typewritten document signed by its author. (See also "D" and "TD.")
AN Autograph Note A note in the hand of the author; any unsigned fragment
ANS Autograph Note Signed An autograph line or two, at most a page, or any fragment which could not be classified as an AMsS, such as a signed memorandum.

Other modifiers are noted directly following the abbreviation, placed in brackets and written out in full. For example TMsS [initialed]; or TMsS [pencil].

 

Recording Dates on Documents

 

Example Explanation
May 26, 1941 Complete date on item
[May 26, 1941] Entire date supplied by processor
[May 26], 1941 Day and month supplied by processor
[Ca. May 26, 1941] Approximate date supplied by processor
May 26, 1941 [?] Processor questions original date
[May ?, 1951] Processor supplies date but feels month may be open to question
[May 26?], 1941 Processor supplies month and day but feels the day may be open to question
[?] 26, 1941 Month unknown
May 26, [?] Year unknown
(n.d.) Undated

Return to Special Collections homepage