The manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system. The vellum on which it is written has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century. The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish-Samogitian book dealer who purchased it in 1912.
Some of the pages are missing, with around 250 remaining. Some pages are foldable sheets. The text is written from left to right, and most of the pages have illustrations.
The manuscript has never been demonstrably deciphered, and the mystery of its meaning and origin has excited the popular imagination, making it the subject of novels and speculation. In 1969, the Voynich manuscript was donated by Hans P. Kraus to Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.