The Voynich manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system. The book has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438), and may have been composed in Northern Italy during the Italian Renaissance. The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish book dealer who purchased it in 1912.The pages of the codex are vellum. Some of the pages are missing, but about 240 remain. The text is written from left to right, and most of the pages have illustrations or diagrams.The Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British codebreakers from both World War I and World War II. No one has yet succeeded in deciphering the text, and it has become a famous case in the history of cryptography. The mystery of the meaning and origin of the manuscript has excited the popular imagination, making the manuscript the subject of novels and speculation. None of the many hypotheses proposed over the last hundred years has yet been independently verified. Many people have speculated that the writing might be nonsense.The Voynich manuscript was donated by Hans P. Kraus to Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 1969, where it is catalogued under call number MS 408. A digitized high-resolution copy is also accessible freely at their website.The manuscript measures 23.5 by 16.2 by 5 centimetres (9.3 by 6.4 by 2.0 in), with hundreds of vellum pages collected into eighteen quires; depending on how some of its unusual fold-out multi-part pages are counted, approximately 240 pages in total. The top righthand corner of each recto (righthand) page has been numbered from 1 to 116, probably by one of the manuscript's later owners. From the various numbering gaps, it seems likely that in the past the manuscript had at least 272 pages, some of which were already missing when Wilfrid Voynich acquired the manuscript in 1912. There is strong evidence that many of the book's bifolios were reordered at various points in its history, and that the original page order may well have been quite different from what it is today.Based on modern analysis, it has been determined that a quill pen and iron gall ink were used for the text and figure outlines; the colored paint was applied (somewhat crudely) to the figures, possibly at a later date.The text was clearly written from left to right, with a slightly ragged right margin. Longer sections are broken into paragraphs, sometimes with star- or flower-like "bullets" in the left margin. There is no obvious punctuation, and no indications of any errors or corrections made at any place in the document. The ductus flows smoothly, giving the impression that the symbols were not enciphered, as there is no delay between characters as would normally be expected in written encoded text.The text consists of over 170,000 glyphs, usually separated from each other by narrow gaps. Most of the glyphs are written with one or two simple pen strokes.