This dataset provides the first comprehensive diachronic comparison of the Vai script of Liberia, as derived from sixteen sources dated between ca. 1834 and 2005. The Vai syllabary was invented by non-literate speakers of a Mande language and is of interest to scholars in the fields of writing and cultural transmission as an emergent writing system. Script samples that entered the dataset were retrieved from a wide variety of published manuscripts. The compiled dataset allows tracing down the evolution of the Vai script based on the existing documented records and can be assessed for reuse in future research.