Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

IO Islamic 4073 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

Irvine Collection

Anglo-Russian relations


Untitled and anonymous (secret?) report on Anglo-Russian political and military relations, detailing British measures to confront Russian Imperial expansion in the 1820s-30s, possibly prepared for or by officials of the Bengal Presidency

Mentions the attitudes and involvement of rulers in Iran, Afghanistan, Ottoman Turkey, Africa (Zangī), and China, and covering subjects like food, provisioning, military movements, itineraries, and the burning of books

The narrative is continuous, lacking systematic dating, rubrics, preface or introduction. Versified conclusion (ff. 141v-148r)

Colophon (f. 148) in 2 parts: 1) chronogrammatic verse stating the manuscript was written at the request of Arjun Singh in 1893; 2) prose subscription in Urdu: ‘vāẓiḥ ho kih yih kitāb aṣal 19 Bisākh-i sanah 1893 Bikramī men̲ tayyār hūʾī’. William Irvine has converted the Bikrami date to 1836 CE.

Language(s): Persian and Urdu

Copied from an original =-=-=-=-

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 149 ff. (unfoliated)
Dimensions (leaf): 280 × 170 mm.


Binding in poor state, spine missing entirely


Rough and large nastaʿlīq in grey, watery ink


Origin: 1893 AH; 1836 CE ; India

Provenance and Acquisition

William Irvine

Muhammad Meer Pahilza (?)


William Irvine


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Funding of Cataloguing



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