Documenting the Manuscript Society

Stephen Richard Kerbs Exhibit Area



This exhibition honors the Manuscript Society, which is holding its 2003 annual meeting in Washington, D.C., from May 21 to May 24. Founded in 1948 as the National Society of Autograph Collectors, the Manuscript Society is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and publication of handwritten and typewritten historical, literary, and cultural documents. Paying particular attention to the annual meetings of 1950, 1963, and 1974 - also when the society visited the nation's capital - this exhibition traces the development of the organization from its founding in 1948 to the present.

The items on display are drawn from the Records of the Manuscripts Society, one of the many manuscript collections preserved in the Georgetown University Library Special Collections Division. In fact, Special Collections owns hundreds of manuscript collections, and, as part of its annual meeting this year, the Manuscript Society will visit Special Collections to view some of Georgetown's finest manuscripts. The exhibition featuring many of the Library's best manuscripts is on view on the fifth floor in the Special Collections Division.

Items in the Exhibition:

Press release announcing formation of the National Society of Autograph Collectors, 1948.

The organization's name was later changed to the Manuscript Society.

The Autograph Collectors' Journal, vol. 1, no. 1.

October 1948. First issue of journal of National Society of Autograph Collectors. The journal title later was changed to Manuscripts.

Photograph of Colton Storm

Photograph of Colton Storm, curator of manuscripts and maps at the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan, addressing persons who attended the banquet of the first annual meeting of the National Society of Autograph Collectors at Ann Arbor, Michigan,May 17-18, 1948.

Photograph of a manuscript copy of an early draft of the Declaration of Independence being looked over by a resident of Saginaw, Michigan.

At the first annual meeting of the National Society of Autograph Collectors. The manuscript was the one through which George III of England learned that the colonies wanted their freedom.

Photograph of exhibition hall at third annual meeting of the National Society of Autograph Collectors in Washington, D.C., 1950

This was the first time the society met in the nation's capital.

Brochure from manuscript sale

Washington, D.C., 1950, third annual meeting.

Manuscripts, vol. 5, no. 4

Summer, 1953. Formerly The Autograph Collectors' Journal.

Name Tag

From the Manuscript Society national convention in Washington, D.C. in 1963, the second time the group met in this city.


Program from the 1963 meeting.


From the 1974 meeting in Washington, D.C.

Manuscripts, vol. 28, no. 3

Summer, 1976.

Manuscripts, vol. 38, no. 1

Winter, 1986.

Manuscripts, vol. 54, no. 2

Spring, 2002.

The Manuscript Society News, vol. 24, no. 1

Winter, 2003.