- uploaded: Aug 31, 2009
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The Voynich manuscript is a mysterious, undeciphered illustrated book. It is thought to have been written in the 15th or 16th century. The author, script, and language of the manuscript remain unknown.
Over its recorded existence, the Voynich manuscript has been the object of intense study by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including some top American and British codebreakers of World War II fame (all of whom failed to decrypt any portion of the text). This string of failures has turned the Voynich manuscript into a famous subject of historical cryptology, but it has also given weight to the theory that the book is simply an elaborate hoaxâ€”a meaningless sequence of arbitrary symbols.
The book is named after the Polish-American book dealer Wilfrid M. Voynich, who acquired it in 1912. Currently the Voynich manuscript is stored in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University as item "MS 408". The first facsimile edition was published in 2005.