Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Gaster MS Misc 1758 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: An incomplete copy of the Anvār-i Suhaylī by Ḥusayn Vāʻiẓ Kāshifī (d. ca. 1504). .
Incipit: (basmala) صفحه‌ی ۱ (page 1): حضرت حکیم علي الاطلاق حلت حکمته که وظایف جمد و ثنای او بحکم و آنّ من شیءٍالایسیح بحمده بر زبان جمیع موجودات علوي و سفلي جاری و دایر است....
Explicit: صفحه‌ی ۸۳۶ (page 836): و غوث پادشاهان عادل عزا جابت فرین است رای قبول کرد بر همین راو داغ نموده بدار الملک جود یار آمد و آنچه از خواهر حکمت است(؟) آورده بود ورسید تالیف انتظام داد و پیوسته و سوانح او را التجا(؟)... ⟨و باقیه واضح نیست⟩.
Colophon: No colophon.
Language(s): Persian

For other copies of this work held in the Rylands, see Persian MS 18, 120, 242 and 526.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Textblock of cross-grained, externally sized and polished, ivoury-coloured paper probably handmade in the Indian subcontinent with ~8 laid lines per cm and no discernible chain lines.
Extent: 838 pages, 3 flyleaves (pp. ii + 838 + i).
Dimensions (leaf): 255 × 153 mm.
Dimensions (written): 203 × 104 mm.
Foliation: Paginated in Hindu-Arabic numerals on the top-centres of the pages until page 220.
Foliation: Paginated in modern pencilled Arabic numerals on the upper corners throughout, albeit with gaps.


Undetermined, possibly quaternions throughtout. Catchwords written on the lower-left corners of the b sides throughout, albeit some trimmed.


Handle with extreme caution, ideally with the assistance of a conservator. Text in very poor condition, with folio 1a detached, extensive water and mould, grime, and many pages stuck together.


Written in 1 column with 17 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in clear black nasta‘līq with vermilion subheaders.



European-style single-flexible sewning on five cord supports. Endpapers added, and edges trimmed. Endbands sewn (now missing). Covered in half sheepskin leather with 'Old Dutch' patterned marbled paper sides. Subsequently repaired by oversewing aside the bands to consolidate the spine, with and a semi-limp vellum jacket added, a portion of which remains attached to the right board exterior.

261 × 166 × 88 mm.

Handle binding remnants with extreme caution. In very poor condition due to extensive water damage, with the right board exterior stuck to the vellum jacket. Spine exposed, with openings to the gutter margins restricted by the oversewing. Boxed.

Accompanying Material

Two documents, a binding request form accompanied by a letter from Librarian Edward Robertson to Manchester bookbinding firm H. Richards & Sons.


Origin: Probably completed in the Indian subcontinent; undated, but completed prior to 21 Apr. 1817 CE. as per a note on page 60.

Provenance and Acquisition

While the circumstances under which this volume arrived in Britain remain unclear, the marginal notes reference homework and ‘end of term on 21 Apr. 1817 CE’ which suggests that an unidentified British student of Persian previously owned the volume.

Subsequently acquired by collector and folklorist Moses Gaster (1856–1939) from an unidentified, probably British source as per the English notations therein.

Acquired in 1954 by the John Rylands Library from the heirs of Moses Gaster.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description derived from the Handlist of the Gaster Manuscripts, published in 1995.

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2023 with reference to the volume in hand.


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.


    M. Gaster, M. Ettinghausen, and V. I Gaster. Handlist of the Gaster Manuscripts: Held Mostly in the British Library (Formerly British Museum) London and in the John Rylands Library Manchester (London: Hebrew Section, Oriental and India Office Collections the British Library 1995.
    D. N. Marshall, Mughals in India: A Bibliographical Survey. Vol. 1. Manuscripts (Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1962), p.18, no. 53(iii).
    C. Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. I (London: British Museum1879), pp. 57–58 [British Library Add. 5638–5640, &c.].
    E. Sachau and H. Ethé, Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstani, and Pushtû manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Vol. I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889), col. 808, no. 1306] [Bodleian MS Ouseley 326-329, &c.].
    C. A. Storey [Online] (2021), Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Vol. III, Pt. 3 Tales no. 709(i).

Funding of Cataloguing

The John Rylands Research Institute and Library

The Soudavar Memorial Foundation


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