Unsolved Mystery of Voynich manuscript
The Voynich manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown, possibly meaningless writing system. The vellum on which it is written has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438), and it may have been composed in Italy during the Italian Renaissance. The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish book dealer who purchased it in 1912. Some of the pages are missing, with around 240 remaining. The text is written from left to right, and most of the pages have illustrations or diagrams. Some pages are foldable sheets.
The Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British codebreakers from both World War I and World War II. The manuscript has never been demonstrably deciphered, and the mystery of its meaning and origin has excited the popular imagination, making it the subject of novels and speculation.
None of the many hypotheses proposed over the last hundred years has been independently verified. In 1969, the Voynich manuscript was donated by Hans P. Kraus to Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The Voynich manuscript was written in a language that men through the centuries have tried to decode to no avail. The only idea anyone has of its origin are the drawings found on various pages.
The timeline of ownership of the Voynich manuscript is given below. The time when it was possibly created is shown in green (the early 1400s), based on carbon dating of the vellum. Periods of unknown ownership are indicated in white. The commonly accepted owners of the 17th century are shown in orange; the long period of storage in the Collegio Romano is yellow. The location where Wilfrid Voynich allegedly acquired the manuscript (Frascati) is shown in green (the late 1800s); Voynich's ownership is shown in red, and modern owners are highlighted blue.