Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Voynich Manuscript

The Voynich Manuscript is a book handwritten in the early 15th century. It has been described as the "world's most mysterious manuscript". The tome consists of 240 vellum pages, written in a cypher that has defied all attempts at decrypting it.

The book was recovered by the Polish-Lithuanian-American book dealer Wilfrid M. Voynich in 1912. It is speculated that the original book had 272 pages, some of which were already missing when Voynich got his hands on the artifact. There is also evidence of someone reordering of the pages after its initial construction. The book has been divided into six sections according to the change in illustrations: Herbal, Astronomical, Biological, Cosmological, Pharmaceutical and Recipes.

The book is currently owned by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University, and is formally referred to as "Beinecke MS 408".