The Mysterious Voynich Manuscript: Collaboration Yields New Insights
A talk by Paula Zyats, Assistant Chief Conservator, Special Collections, Yale University
Thursday, July 10, 2014
The Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust Street
5:30 – 7:30 pm – reception and exhibition opening to follow (see below)
Click here to RSVP
The Voynich Manuscript, a mysterious vellum manuscript written in an unknown language, was donated to Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 1969. In late 2008, an Austrian film crew approached the Beinecke with a proposal to conduct materials testing on the Voynich Manuscript and make a film about it. This prompted an exciting collaboration between curators, scientists, conservators, historians, and filmmakers. This talk summarizes those findings, outlining the history of the Voynich Manuscript, some of the theories as to its origins, conservation treatment, materials testing, and parchment radiocarbon dating. The advances though significant, are humble: the Voynich Manuscript’s authorship and meaning remain a complete mystery.
(image above from the Beinecke Library, Yale University)
Paula Zyats is a graduate of the Winterthur Museum/ University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. She worked as Rare Books and Manuscripts Conservator at CCAHA before coming to Yale, specializing in manuscripts on parchment and paper. Paula has been in her present position as Assistant Chief Conservator for Special Collections at Yale University Libraries for the past 9 1/2 years. In that time, she has been privileged to work on rare items from numerous special collections within the Libraries, including the Voynich Manuscript, and is currently working on a project to treat and house ancient papyrus fragments.
Please also enjoy the opening of
“Small Wonders: Miniature Books by the Delaware Valley Chapter
of the Guild of Book Workers”
In the United States, a miniature book is defined as a book that is no larger than three inches in height, width, or thickness. The Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers has asked its members to make books with no other theme except to meet that definition. Thirty-one members rose to the challenge.
This event of co-sponsored by the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers