Beinecke Library’s description of the manuscript

Caution should be taken when reading the Beinecke library’s recently re-instated and badly antiquated ‘blurb’ about the manuscript.

The wiki article is better in some ways, though it is focussed on ‘theories’ and these generally limited to ones published in hard-copy.

At least in the matter of dating,the wiki article (unlike the Beinecke) keeps strictly to the only conclusion possible from the scientific data we have at present:

The Voynich manuscript, described as “the world’s most mysterious manuscript”, is a work which dates to the early 15th century (1404-1438), … named after the book dealer Wilfrid Voynich, who purchased it in 1912.

It does add a matter of opinion, but as a possibility, i.e.

…possibly from northern Italy.

By contrast, the Beinecke library’s stating that the manuscript

[was] written in Central Europe at the end of the 15th or during the 16th century

is a compounded error of the sort likely to send new researchers hunting their sources as much as a hundred years’ out of time.

Perhaps the curator hadn’t an opportunity to vet and edit the old text before it was posted for the public, but let’s hope that happens soon.

Such is Yale’s prestige that the blurb’s repeating some older speculations is likely to result in  their being quoted ad infinitum, from an assumption that whatever the holding library says must be based in fact.

I cannot recommend either the wiki or the Beinecke’s introduction as up-to-date. The wiki article’s coverage is necessarily skewed by the decision of its anonymous writer(s)  to ignore all the research being published online – and that’s where most Voynich research is being published.

(edited Jan 19th)

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