Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

King's Pote 39 (King's College Library, King's College Cambridge)

Pote Collection


Summary of Contents: 1 copy of Aʿlām al-Akhyār.
Language(s): Arabic

Colophon details: Date: Undated Scribe: Anonymous.

Note concerning manuscript: The preface (unfoliated) contains a table of contents with page numbers.

Note concerning work: A large collection of biographies. For other copies see the article by Ashirbek Muminov: "Manuscripts of Kata’ib A‘lam al-Akhyar: New Materials for the Biography and Activity of Mahmud ibn Sulayman al-Kafawi", in Russian: https://www.academia.edu/11218921/Spiski_Kataib_al-Kafawi. Some date his death to 990/1582.


Geschichte der arabischen Literatur C. Brockelmann 1892-1902 (2 vols. plus supplements) GAL II.83;GAL II.434; GAL Supp. II.645

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 586 folios (in 73 quires).
Dimensions (leaf): 25.3 × 15.5 cm.
Dimensions (written): 17.7 × 9.7 cm.
Foliation: Foliated (after unfoliated preface).


Worm damage.


17-24 lines per page.

Ruled in gold and black on the first folio, double red with a black outer thereafter. (Preface in another handis ruled throughout in double red with a black outer).


Script: naskh and nastaʿlīq. Quality: Fine naskh and not so fine nastaʿlīq . Scribe: Anonymous.


F.1v: an illuminated sarlauh .


The manuscript contains numerous marginal notes.

Signs of collation.


Red leather central panel with a darker leather border, Indian style. Decorations: Gold inlaid turanj and two pendants and cornerpieces and a border of cartouches (again with cornerpieces). Title on the spine: "Aʿlām al-Akhbār" (rather than Akhyār). Dimensions: 25.3 × 15.5 × 6 cm. Boxed. Polier's number: 23.


Origin: Undated.

Provenance and Acquisition

The "Pote Collection" arrived in England from India in 1790 and was divided between the Colleges of Eton and King's, Cambridge, with the first half alphabetically going to King's. Both halves of the collection are now housed in Cambridge University Library on permanent loan. Most if not all of the manuscripts had previously been owned by Colonel Antoine-Louis Henri Polier (1741–1795).

Gift of Edward Ephraim Pote (d.1832) in 1788.

Record Sources


All manuscripts of the Pote Collection are on permanent loan at Cambridge University Library. Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card for admissions procedures consult Cambridge University Library. Contact near_eastern@lib.cam.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript

Funding of Cataloguing

King's College Cambridge


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