Chief credit must go, of course, to the Beinecke Library for the scans and high res. imagery on which this research depends.

I think we owe a debt of thanks, too, to the Society of Jesus who preserved the manuscript over many others which might have been chosen, and without whom it would almost certainly have been lost as so many others were during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

It has proven extremely difficult to discover what prior research has been done on one folio, or one topic, and another.

Members of the Voynich mailing list have shown a clear disinterest in the entire question of precedence, and I have been positively remonstrated with for attempting to discover where credit may be due.

In particular, as I have been told specifically and repeatedly, the list does not recognise any obligation to credit precedence when a person’s research has been published online.

It is a policy I have disputed and with which I continue to disagree.

Credit is given even if the work was not sighted by me if its methods and/or conclusions were effectively the same as my own.

John Tiltman’s observations (though I came to them later than I should have) have proven the best, most helpful and least coloured from my point of view.

I am of course, indebted to Philip Neal as we all are for his translation of the seventeenth-century correspondence.

I am personally grateful to Dana Scott  whose quiet but steady and constant presence in the Voynich mailing list is very easily overlooked.

And of course, Nick Pelling – with whose ‘Averlino’ theory I cannot concur, but whose blog – as I think everyone agrees –  is an essential source for any detailed study of the manuscript.

I cannot think of any member of the current Voynich mailing list save Karl Kinsella, Philip Neal and Dana Scott to whom I owe any especial debt: they were each kind enough to respond to a specific question asked offline.

My credits list is considerably shorter than it would be if I were involved in study of the written text. That is the subject on which most ‘Voynich’ researchers concentrate.

As an outsider to that aspect of the study, I find the most intriguing question the script’s lack of any  ‘X’ form.


Botanical section.

I am sincerely uncomfortable about the fact that inability to discover precedents has undoubtedly led to deficient credits.

I discovered the very important paper by Mazar and Wiart very late, and far too late to have done as I would have had I known their paper earlier: that is, I should have requested  their advice as soon as I realised (in 2009) that eastern plants were being depicted.

A paper from ciphermysteries, which I’d not before read in its entirety has  the article referenced and linked in its last paragraph.  Retrospective acknowledgement of their work ~ and more importantly of their observation that plants in the manuscript are eastern ones ~ is surely appropriate.

I have been unable to obtain a current list of Scott’s  identifications.

Edith Sherwood’s site I looked at once or twice, but since it contains no explanation of why some elements in a folio are considered critical and others ignored, any common identification is reached independently. Credit is formal, on hearing that we happen to agree – the examples are I think limited to f.13r.

More general credits are due to:-

* the various people whose work is represented, or summarised on

* Rich SantaColoma for having maintained the Voynich mailing list for some years.


It has proven impossible to properly credit many of the digitized images, some of which I have had in digitized form since the mid-1980s, as an adjunct to my own work.

If any persons feel that they are entitled to be credited here, do please leave a comment. However, due to the potential risks for readers I do not usually publish live links.


I’d like to credit ~ and I wish I could correspond with ~ a person whose comment on one botanical folio I have just read  (October 20th 2012).

Under the name of ‘Patty’ they commented on another blog-page that:

This appears to be an Indian ledger written describing the genetic break- down of certain types of plants , it appears to describe the root systems, leaf systems, and reproductive part of the plants pictured. [The writing] appears to .. be the physics of their make up”.

I have corrected a couple of minor typos.  To read the original as written see message here  date-stamped 07/09/2012 07:02AM.

Analytical approaches have too rarely been employed by more recent treatments of this section.

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