An autograph is a person's own handwriting or signature. The word autograph comes from Ancient Greek (αὐτός, autós, "self" and γράφω, gráphō, "write"), and can mean more specifically:
What might be considered the oldest "autograph" is a Sumerian clay table from about 3100 BC which includes the name of the scribe Gar.Ama. No ancient written autographs have been found, and the earliest one known for a major historical figure is that of El Cid from 1098.
Main article: Autograph (manuscript)
"Autograph" can refer to a document transcribed entirely in the handwriting of its author, as opposed to a typeset document or one written by an amanuensis or a copyist. This meaning overlaps that of "holograph".
Main article: Autograph collecting
Autograph collecting is the hobby of collecting autographs of famous persons. Some of the most popular categories of autograph subjects are presidents, military soldiers, athletes, movie stars, artists, social and religious leaders, scientists, astronauts, and authors.