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Re: VMs: Reasearching the VMs at Beinecke

Hello Dana.

I've been trying to catch up on my backlog of Emails and had a thought or
two. You wrote:

> I looked for most of this 'hidden' text and will pass it on to the list
> when  I get back to my notes.  It was a primary concern of mine to copy
> as much of  the hidden text as possible. In some cases where the text
> has just faded  away, there is just nothing my poor old human eyes could
> detect.  Painted  over text in the jars I was able to copy, except for
> the one folio where was  used as an outer cover packet fold over where
> the paint and text is badly  cracked.
I'm hoping that you managed to recover the various bits of text and
drawings that are obscured on the Rosette foldout that I mentioned
  One thought was that this fading and gutter
> fold  damage occured a long time ago when the folded packets were used
> for  seemingly what they were designed to be used for.  One thing about
> the  initial layout of certain folios is that I believe that the folio
> page text  and drawing were in some cases meant to be used side by side
> where now in  its present binding the purpose utility of this side by
> side text and  drawings is now deemphasized.  For example, f57v and 66r
> were layed out side  by side on the same vellum.  My impression is that
> this the intent of the  original scibe (black scribe-3) and that these
> two folios work together.   This is a significant revelation for me,
> since I can now see that the notes  along the border of 66r may indeed
> refer to what is seen in 57v.  What I  want to do now is lay it all out
> as it was originally written (without  binding or folds) to see if this
> makes sense and produces new revelations.   More work, but probably
> informative.

Please keep us informed as to any "new" order that suggests itself from
your reconstruction efforts. The Mrsids were helpful, but nothing takes
the place of being able to physically examine where the original "Tab A"
fit into "Slot B".
> I can detect 4 separate binding of the VMs.  I you look at 71v and 101v
> you  will see that one of the gutter folds in each of these samples is
> unusually  wide.  The reason for this is that certain quires of the VMs
> were folded,  not bound together into neat packets.  Therefore, certain
> sections of the  VMs were originally simply folded, possibly for easy of
> transportation.  The  dirt and creases of these packets can easily be
> seen.  The dirt suggests  that these were working packets carried around
> from place to place.  I  experimented with this fold process and it work
> out very nicely.  So the  "original" binding was performed simply by
> folding the contents of cetain  quires.  Another distinguishing feature
> of the packet folios is that certain  folios have a very nice soft
> velvet type feel like peach fuzz.

It sounds like the "original" binding was more on the order of a group of
essays folded up and stored together. This could explain how the "correct"
order has become elusive... perhaps someone else trying to bind them
together after the authors death?

> There are also signs that certain folios have been borrowed from other 
> sources.  This is evidenced by straight line folded creases that can be
> seen  when holding up the folio page to sunlight (I went through of
> number of  physical contortions of myself to look at the manuscript;
> proper lighting  was a bit difficult).  I suspect that the reason the
> edges of some of the  folios were cut short and at a slant is perhaps to
> remove prior foldings and  blemishes left over from the "original"
> document.>

If the Voynich author obtained his blank folios from other documents that
he had access to, this could play havoc with attempts to date the
manuscript based on the materials. Depending on where he got them, two
consecutive sheets could have been produced hundreds of miles and decades
apart ... more if any of them were recovered like a palimpsest.

Hope you enjoyed your "vacation",


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