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Southbury Public Library

100 Poverty Road
Southbury, CT 06488
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Library News

5/31/2017 - The Voynich Manuscript on June 19, 2017

The Voynich Manuscript

As part of the 2017 Adult Summer Series “Going Medieval at the Southbury Public Library,” Raymond Clemens, PhD will lecture on the Voynich Manuscript on Monday, June 19th at 4pm in the Kingsley Room of the Southbury Public Library. The Voynich Manuscript is an enigmatic, much-speculated-upon, one-of-a-kind, centuries-old puzzle that is perhaps the world’s most mysterious book.

Written in an unknown script by an unknown author, the manuscript has no clearer purpose now than when it was rediscovered in 1912 by rare books dealer Wilfrid Voynich. The manuscript appears and disappears throughout history, from the library of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II to a secret sale of books in 1903 by the Society of Jesus in Rome. The book’s language has eluded decipherment, and its elaborate illustrations remain as baffling as they are beautiful. Described as a magical or scientific text, nearly every page contains botanical, figurative, and scientific drawings of a provincial but lively character, drawn in ink with vibrant washes in various shades of green, brown, yellow, blue, and red.

Journey with Raymond Clemens, PhD, Curator of Early Books of Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library to find out more about this unusual and unique manuscript in a lecture and visual presentation. Before coming to the Beinecke Library, he served as Acting Director of the Newberry Library's Center for Renaissance Studies for two years and was an Associate Professor of History at Illinois State University for thirteen years, where he received the university's highest teaching award. He was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Newberry Library and a British Academy-Newberry Library Exchange Fellow. Dr. Clemens’ research specialties include medieval hagiography, Renaissance cartography, and the history of the book.

This program is sponsored by the Charles H. and Emma Ellery Rutledge Fund. This program is free to attend for anyone interested but registration is required. Please call 203-262-0626 ext. 130 to register.


Contact: Elizabeth Kelly
Southbury Public Library Reference Department
203-262-0626 ext. 130