Voynich Manuscript Scan wishlist...

Here's a (reasonably complete, I hope) list of anomalous features and marks in the Voynich Manuscript (Beinecke MS 408A) for which a closer examination (ideally by a high resolution scan) may help resolve many of the vast array of unanswered questions we face to do with its nature, structure, and provenance.

For 24-bit colour scans, there is also a technical issue to do with limited dynamic range (only 8 bits per gun), far less than the eye can perceive: many pages with a wide dynamic range may be better supported by scans of multiple smaller "detail" areas within the page. (I'm thinking in particular of the nine-rosette 'map' page here)

I've sorted this wishlist by priority (highest first) - the higher up the list, the more likely I think that a detail scan will produce useful information (or the more contentious the area, such as the 'michiton oladabas' text on f116v)

Enough of the preamble - on with the list! Please send any suggestions or corrections to me, .....Nick Pelling.....

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(1) Non-Voynichese marginalia:- (2) The central details of each of the zodiac folios. These are very hard to make out clearly, as they appear to have been drawn by one person, painted by another, and had month names added by a third. A more detailed scan would help conceptually separate these layers more satisfactorily - for example, we have also tried to date and place the crossbowman (in the Sagittarius diagram), but have been frustrated by the lack of clarity in all the scans.

(3) Any of the zodiac "nymph costumes" in detail (ie the clothes worn by the nymphs around the diagram, not by the people in the middle of the diagram): for example:- (4) The nine-rosette "map" page - this came out terribly badly in the CopyFlo, yet appears to hold an absolute wealth of detail embedded in it. It might be a good idea to scan not only the whole image at 400dpi, but also the central and four corner rosettes at (say) 1200dpi as well.

(5) The quire signatures - this might be used to try to date the handwriting. While I suspect I may now know whose handwriting this is, without a higher resolution scan (to the point that individual quill-strokes become clearly visible) this may prove impossible to falsify or support.

(6) The 'pharma' jars (ie bussolotti/pixidae) in the first pharma section. These may well be able to be used as source material by an early modern glass historian to establish links with external traditions. Certainly, one of them has the same dotted decoration as some Murano glass in the V&A in London.

(7) Unclear areas, especially in the balneology section. There are numerous strange visual details throughout this whole section which simply cry out for a dramatically better scan. Some examples:- (8) Miscellaneous areas of interest
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