are documents (in any format) accumulated, collected, and/or generated by a private individual(s) and subsequently donated to or acquired by a repository to ensure their retention and public accessibility. "Manuscripts" include personal papers with organic unity, artificial subject collections of documents acquired from diverse sources, and individual documents acquired and retained by a repository for their potential research use. Manuscripts may be differentiated from archives in that they are informal records, privately acquired and maintained for their subject matter content. Manuscript collections are often described as "personal" or "private" papers. The term "manuscript collection" may also refer to records brought together for a specific purpose by a repository or a collector.
Unpublished handwritten or typed documents. in archives, manuscripts are usually defined as the personal papers of individuals or private groups as opposed to the records of a business, government, or other institution.