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VMs: "The VMs Research Foundation"...?
I've been giving some thought to forming a charitable organisation whose
central aim is to improve our understanding of the VMs by sponsoring
targeted research and publishing the results openly.
What I have particularly in mind is a combination of close physical
examination and rigorous analysis, which would best be performed by
sponsored post-grads (who get to co-author the resulting paper), typically
from Yale. The results of all stages would be made available (hosted at the
Beinecke or elsewhere), so that all the final analysis can be replicated
and checked. Some key examples:-
(1-a) A careful study of the original binding needle-holes (and perhaps
(1-b) Carefully inferring the probable original binding order
(2-a) A spectroscopic study of the different inks and paints used in the VMs
(2-b) Carefully inferring the probable different layers (and their ordering
(3-a) A microscopic examination of the VMs' vellum (for embedded pollens, etc)
(3-b) Carefully inferring the vellum's composition, production & perhaps locale
(4-a) Scanning all the VMs photographs held at the Beinecke
(4-b) Comparing with the VMs to see if there are any photos of the lost
(5-a) Scanning all WMV's papers at the Grolier Club (and elsewhere?)
(5-b) Identifying routes by which the few pages of the VMs might have gone
...and so forth (you can probably think of plenty more additions to the list).
In addition, the charity might also sensibly back a VMs conference, to be
held (say) either at the Beinecke (the VMs' physical home) or at the
Warburg Institute (probably the VMs' spiritual home).
Does anyone here with experience of forming or running a charity have any
helpful suggestions? For example, are there particular advantages over
forming it in the US, in England, or elsewhere? There is plenty of good,
clear information on the UK Charity Commission website:-
From that, it would seem that the particular charitable purpose of what
I'm reaching towards above is the "advancement of education", which
Sections 30-31 define as:-
30. The advancement of education is not limited to formal education
at schools, colleges or universities. It can also include:
* organisations providing work-related training (for example,
nursing or engineering); and
* research institutions.
31. Education in the charitable sense cannot include propagandist
or political activities nor the study of subjects which have no
educational value. If research is being done, it needs to be carried
out in an objective and impartial way and the useful results must
be made available, or accessible, to the public.
A working title for the charity could simply be "The Voynich Manuscript
Research Foundation", a kind of 'virtual research institution'. Comments?
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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