Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 179 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The first volume of the Rawz̤at al-Ṣafā (Garden of Purity), a general history from the creation of the world to the time of the author. Later combined with other disparate volumes, Persian MS 180, 181, and 182, as an incomplete set.
Scribe: ‘Alī Jān ibn Ḥaydar ‘Alī
Incipit: (basmallah) برگ ۵(دوباره)پ (folio 5 bis b side): زی‍ب‌ ف‍ه‍رس‍ت‌ ن‍س‍خ‍ه‌ م‍ف‍اخ‍ر ان‍ب‍ی‍ا ع‍ال‍ی م‍ک‍ان‌ و زی‍ن‍ت‌ دی‍ب‍اچ‍ه‌ م‍ج‍م‍وع‍ه‌ م‍اث‍ر س‍لاطی‍ن..‌.
Colophon: برگ ۲۸۲ر (folio 282a):  ...و اتمام فی یوم الخمیس ۱۴ شهر ذی الحجه سنه ۱۰۳۶... المذنب المحتاج الی رحمه الله الغنی علیجام ابن حیدر علی
Colophon: Completed on Friday, 14 Ẕī-l-Ḥijjah 1036 AH (26 Aug. 1627 CE) by ‘Alī Jān ibn Ḥaydar ‘Alī.

While the latter three volumes appear nearly uniformly bound, this specific one appears completely different in both terms of size and format, and the provenance matches volumes Persian MS 173 to Persian MS 178. Hence a later owner, possibly must have combined it with the others. Also note that prior records document the volume's completed in 1026 AH, but it actually appears to be 1036 AH.

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Texblock comprised of sized and polished, heavily flocked, buff-coloured paper probably handmade in India.
Extent: 287 folios (ff. i + 287 + i)
Dimensions (leaf): 383 × 240 mm.
Dimensions (written): 264 × 155 mm.

Modern foliation marked at top-right corners of the a sides in pencilled Arabic numerals, which includes the earlier handmade paper flyleaves and duplicates the number 5, hence the first folio commences on 5bis. Nevertheless, this foliation is followed for this record.


Undetermined. Catchwords written written on the lower-left corners on the b sides throughout.


In fair condition, with extensive staining, insect damage, and historical repairs thoughout.


Origin: Probably India; completed on Friday, 14 Ẕī-l-Ḥijjah 1036 AH (26 Aug. 1627 CE) by ‘Alī Jān ibn Ḥaydar ‘Alī

Provenance and Acquisition

Likely either restored for, or obtained by Jonathan Duncan, who governed the Bombay Presidency for sixteen years.

After Duncan's death, his family sold his library through the London firm of Samuel Leigh Sotheby (1805–1861) where Sir Graves Champney Haughton (1788–1849), an early student at Fort William College who excelled in the study of several oriental languages, purchased this set as per his inscription on folio 1b dated Feb. 1818.

Later owned by Persian scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865), after whose death London antiquarian dealer Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold his oriental manuscripts to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) in 1866.

Purchased by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford (1847–1913).

Bequeathed by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1908 to the John Rylands Library.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived from a manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s and his Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2021 with reference to the volume.


To book an in-person or online appointment to consult the manuscript, visit Using the Special Collections Reading Rooms. For any other enquiries please email uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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