Once you are confronted with a questioned signature on a disputed document, the challenge is on to find adequate known specimens of signatures with which to compare it during an examination.  In the world of handwriting examination, there are two categories of signatures from which to draw.

 The first is referred to as collected specimens.  These are specimens which are verified as known and may be found on documents signed by the person during the course of every day life and include signatures on cheques, wills, deed of sales, application forms, etc. Preferably these signatures are contemporaneous, meaning that they were written within a 3 year time span of the questioned signature.  The more available known signatures there are, the better, but a minimum of 10 – 20 may be adequate depending on the case.  At times, the examiner is faced with a dearth of such signatures and may request signatures, again dependent on the context of the case.  Requesting signatures follows a process and takes several hours, possibly days.  Obtaining requested signatures is not just providing a hurried list of signatures on a sheet of paper.  So providing an examiner with such a list of signatures is far from helpful and really of little value.

Furthermore, providing original signatures is far more valuable, than providing photocopied ones.  The last resort is a 1st generation photocopy.  Original signatures and writing provides valuable information about the line quality of the writing, as well as other features on the paper on which it was written.  Original writing tells a story as it really happened while photocopies are a relaying of the story as if told by someone else leaving out the finer details.