Frequently Asked Questions:

Glossary of Terms:


Every item at The Archive Gallery has been authenticated and is accompanied by our Certificate of Authenticity. The Certificate is issued by The Archive Gallery and bears the owner, Malcolm Tait's pledge that each signed item is unconditionally guaranteed genuine without time limit. If an item's authenticity is disputed, we may ask the purchaser to supply the written opinion of one competent authority acceptable to us. We will refund the purchase price after documentation has been submitted. The buyer's only remedy under this guarantee is the cancellation of the sale and the refund of the purchase price.



The conservation and protection of your purchase is of paramount importance. Your purchase comes to you appropriately protected. The Archive Gallery specialises in the artistic presentation of our collectables as a framed artwork, all our framed items are artistically designed and come with a researched description.

The preservation technology used in the framing of our historical documents conform to stringent conservation guidelines; framed items are encapsulated in Mylar to guard against organic acids, mounted in an acid-free environment and are framed behind UV protective acrylic sheeting/glass, blocking 98 % of ultraviolet light.



No merchandise shall be shipped or delivered until payment in full is received.
The preferred choice of courier service is UPS, alternative shippers - FedEx and DHL only by special request.
For the purchase of multiple, unframed, one dimensional items in a given sale, a one-time flat fee will apply; no per item charge will be incurred.
Shipping fees include packaging, insurance and FedEx/UPS or DHL charges.
Shipping charges will depend on the dimensions/weight and final destination of the parcel.


Glossary of Terms:

The following table explains the acronyms and terms used by The Archive Gallery to describe the various types of items of stock, as well as their condition and any distinguishing features.

The most important word that is encountered in the field of paper collecting is autograph. The word is generally associated with one's signature; however, the term encompasses a much broader spectrum as it is literally defined as: "written in one's own hand". The product can therefore be a signature, letter, document, manuscript, musical score, drawing, map or any other creation on a secondary medium. The writing of an autograph can be done with any writing device available, for example: a pen, pencil, chalk, crayon or paint.

The word document comes from the Latin documentum, meaning "official paper". A document is "anything printed, typed or handwritten, relied upon to record or prove something". It would include such things as land deeds, promissory notes, checks, military orders, appointments, provenances and so on.

The use of the word manuscript is more difficult to define in modern terms. The word is derived from the Latin manu scriptus, which means "handwritten". In modern usage it has come to include typewritten material, but not printed material. The terms "documents" and "manuscripts" are often used interchangeably. European usage confines the word manuscript to things written before the invention of printing. Pages written by hand since the year 1450 are called "documents", or sometimes "modern manuscripts".

A letter is a written or printed communication directed to a person or organization. It is usually courteous in nature as it addresses the recipient as "Dear" and ends with gratitude being "Thank you", "Yours Sincerely" etc.

Autograph Acronyms and Terms

APS Album Page Signed  A piece of paper (traditionally an album page) signed by the person named 
ALS   Autograph Letter Signed  A letter entirely written and signed by the person named 
AMS  Autograph Manuscript  A manuscript written by the person named, unsigned 
AMSS Autograph Manuscript Signed  A manuscript written and signed by the person named, 
MSS  Manuscript Signed  Typed manuscript signed by the person named 
AMQS   Autograph Musical Quotation Signed  Bars of music written out and signed by the person named 
AMQ   Autograph Musical Quotation  Bars of music written out by the person named 
ANS   Autograph Note Signed  An autograph note written and signed by the person named 
ANU  Autograph Note Unsigned  An autograph note written by the person named, unsigned. 
AQS  Autograph Quotation Signed  A verse or statement written out and signed by the person named. 
BOOK   Book  A book signed by the person named 
CD/LP   CD/LP  A CD or LP signed by the person named 
CHQ   Cheque  A bank cheque signed by the person named 
COL   Collection A collection of two or more autographs. 
DS   Document Signed  An official document, either printed or in the hand of a clerk, signed by the person named 
FDC   First Day Cover  An envelope where stamps have been cancelled on their first day of issue. 
LS  Letter Signed  A letter in the hand of a clerk or typed, but signed by the person named 
MEM   Memorabilia  A signed or unsigned object that can be directly linked to a personality or event 
NS  Note Signed  A note in the hand of a clerk or pre-printed/typed, signed by the person named 
NU  Note Unsigned  A typed or pre-printed note by the person named, unsigned 
OD  Original Drawing  An original drawing created by the person named, either signed or unsigned. 
PS  Poster  An unsigned poster either created by or featuring the person named 
PSS  Poster, signed  A poster signed by the person named 
PRINT  Limited Edition Print  A limited edition print, either signed or unsigned. 
PROG   Programme  A programme from an event signed by the person named 
SP  Photograph Signed  A photograph signed by the person named 
REPS  Reproduction Art Work Signed  A reproduction of an art work (for example a postcard), signed by the person named 
UP  Photograph Unsigned  An unsigned snapshot photograph of the person named. 
TLS  Typed Letter Signed  A type written letter signed by the person named. 
CDV  Carte-de-visite  A popular form of mass produced mounted photographs invented in France, originally used as calling or visiting cards. Carte-de-visites, similar to the cabinet photograph, but smaller were popular in the nineteenth century. The standard size is about 2½” by 4½”. 



Foxing Age-related, scattered brown stains which are a type of mould, often caused by metallic impurities in the paper.
Mounting Remnants Adhesive or material relating to the process of mounting the object is visible.
Silvering A term that describes the discolouration of silver gelatin print photographs (normally effecting photographs from the 19th century to 1950s). The process of oxidation effects darker portions of the photograph, creating a bluish tint to the surface.
Toning Age-related discolouration of paper.
Trimmed An item that has been manually trimmed to size.


Non-genuine Signature Types

Autopen Signature A signature created by a machine that uses a pre-made template to sign potentially hundreds of items an hour, on behalf of a named person.
Forged Autograph A signature or writing by a person who is completely unrelated to the named person. Attempting to sell forgeries is illegal.
Printed Signature A copy of a genuine signature, printed onto paper or photographic material, usually used for promotional purposes.
Secretarial Signature A signature signed by a secretary/assistant on behalf of a named person.



All measurements on our website are in inches and/or centimeters, horizontal measurements are given firs. However the following measurements can also be found in other trade literature:

12mo (Duodecimo) Approximately 5 x 7 inches
8vo (Octavo) approximately 6 x 9 inches
4to (Quarto) approximately 9.5 x 12 inches
Folio Approximately 12 x 18 inches