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Physician's folding calendars (revisited)...

Hi everyone,

Here's a quick look at the VMS from the point of view of a physician's folding calendar (in the style of Sloane MS 2250).

The most immediate similarity is that f1r has a couple of large stand-out red letters/symbols, which are very much in the style used to identify the various quires in MS 2250. OK, this doesn't amount to a great deal but it's a start. :-/

We might then reasonably ask: do the VMS' quires have other external marks to indicate their contents? This is probably going to be quite difficult to assess from what we have, as my research into information-structuring in these kinds of documents seems to indicate that colour is the primary mechanism used to highlight important stuff - and our material is mainly monochrome. :-(

Still, here goes:-

Q1	f1r	block red letters, similar to MS 2250
Q2	f9r	?
Q3	f17r	two eyes in roots - perhaps quire pertains to sight-related herbals?
Q4	f25r	?
Q5	f33r	two heads in roots - either mandrake or head-related herbals?
Q6	f41r	?
Q7	f49r	worm threading through roots - perhaps these are cures for parasites?
Q8	f57r	small messy mark on page - looks a bit like a "W"?
Q9...		?

All comments and suggestions welcome! :-)

I must stress that I would expect the VMS' various quires' external marks to be drawn in colour (specifically red), which I can't presently see. :-(((

It's certainly possible that later quires may not need obvious indexing marks as much as the botanical/herbal section, as these are fairly distinct - all the balnaeological folios are in their own quire, as are the pharmaceutical folios, and the astrological ones.

Not having been to the Beinecke, this is all purely guesswork: but if the VMS was ever used as a working document, the question of if/how the quires were indexed will always be a pertinent one.

Still, here are some currently open questions:-
(1) how are other contemporary herbals' quires ordered or grouped?
(2) if ordered by body-part affected, what categories would be missing above?

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....