Public Panel: The Voynich Manuscript (2014)

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For related articles, consult Manuscripts (disambiguation).

Public Panel: The Voynich Manuscript, one of the Talks and Screenings at the Folger, was held in the Elizabethan Theatre Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 7:30pm.

Attendees joined scholars Bill Sherman and René Zandbergen for a discussion of the still un-deciphered Voynich manuscript (Beinecke MS 408) whose secrets have remained hidden for over 400 years.

Voynich image courtesy of Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

When the Voynich Manuscript came to light in 1912, it was described as "the most mysterious manuscript in the world"--and a full century later we still know surprisingly little about it. Dating from the early 15th century, it was carefully written by an unknown author--in an unknown place and for still unknown reasons--in an elaborate script that has never been deciphered. It is filled with hundreds of drawings of plants, people, and stars that have yet to give up their secrets. On loan for the first time from the Beinecke Library at Yale University, this manuscript was a centerpiece of Folger’s exhibition on Decoding the Renaissance.

This conversation reviewed new approaches to this old problem, including science and art history, Medieval and Renaissance history, codicology and conservation, and the history of collecting.

A wine reception and exhibition viewing followed.

This talk was presented in conjunction with one of the Exhibitions at the FolgerDecoding the Renaissance.