A facsimile (from Latin "fac simile" = "make similar!") is the term for the faithful reproduction of an original, which is frequently handwritten. The originals are often objects with a historical or cultural-historical value such as documents, but also private reprints of postage stamps. The reproduction makes it possible to safeguard these objects, as well as frequently making them accessible to science and the general public for the first time. In addition, many significant printed works are now only preserved as facsimiles.
In order to create reproductions that are as faithful as possible to the original, modern reproduction techniques (photography, retrodigitalization, collotype process, and granolithography) are now increasingly used in addition to the traditional work techniques (such as wood engraving, as well as anastatic printing). While a complete copy is reproduced in color for a full facsimile, a partial facsimile is limited to a selection of the original. Additional commentary or supplementary volumes with explanations are often added to facsimiles.