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Re: An afternoon at Beinecke...

Hello Philip,
   Thank you for sharing with us your moments of bliss during your brief encounter
with the VMS at Beinecke. There are those of us within this esteemed group of
inquisitors who would envy the opportunity to glance upon the original vellum for a
moment of hands-on experience. Hopefully we will be able to preserve as much as
possible of the original manuscript and the aesthetics of its true texture and
color, at least digitally or photographically, before the it fades into oblivion.

Dana Scott

Philip Marshall wrote:

> Dear all,
> After long delays and much frustration I was able to spend an afternoon at
> Beinecke in the company of the VMS. I don't know what to say at this
> time except that it was an intense experience and now I have a throbbing
> headache. :) Upon first glance it is indeed the "ugly duckling" that
> Voynich himself described when he first found the book in the library at
> Frascati, but once opened the wonders do not cease! I will say that the
> colors are much brighter and more vibrant than indicated by the scans on
> the Beinecke website, and also that the several fold-outs are showing
> great wear along both the creases and margins; this is especially true of
> the three-way foldout folio containing six of the nine astrological
> diagrams (folio 72 : Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra). I am
> convinced of the necessity of a good reproduction of the VMS to minimize
> further damage to the original.  Because my background is in botany I was
> most interested in the botanical folios, and I will say also that I am in
> agreement with Rene Zandbergen that the plant depicted on folio 9 verso is
> a violet (Viola), and also with Dana Scott that the larger leaf depicted
> on folio 42 recto is probably Rumex acetosa, called "green sorrel" in
> English (interestingly, the smaller leaf alongside it appears to be
> an Oxalis, of the other genus commonly called "sorrel" in English,
> although the plants are not related). This is all I am willing to say until
> I have a chance to look at the manuscript again later this week.
> -Philip Marshall
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Philip Marshall
> MESc Candidate
> Yale University
> School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
> tel: +1 203.436.2137
> email: philip.marshall@xxxxxxxx or pmm8@xxxxxxxxxxx
> "The pig was not merely a pig but a creature bound among other things to
> the fence, the dandelion, and a very special definition of property."
>                                         -William Cronon