Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 958 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: An incomplete, possibly 18th-century copy of the Mukātabāt-i ʻAllāmī (Writings of ‘Allāmī) contains correspondence of Persian émigré and eventual minister to the Mughal emperor Akbar, Abū al-Faz̤l ibn Mubārak (1551–1602), posthumously compiled by his nephew, ʻAbd al-Ṣamad ibn Afz̤al Muḥammad (fl. early 17th c) in 1015 AH (1606-07 CE). The latter divided the work into three books (daftars): letters that Abu'l Fazl drafted in Akbar's name, correspondence that he himself wrote to Akbar and other nobility, and miscellaneous letters and prose pieces.
Title: مکتوبات علامی
Title: مکاتبات علامی
Incipit: برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): گوناگون نیایش مرد اوری را که وجود شیر را از کارخانه غایب... این کتاب مکاتبات و فرمانهایی اسـت کـه از زبان‌ حضرت‌ شاهنشای به مـلوک ایـران و توران...رقم زده،عرایض و خطوطی است که خود به‌ حضرت‌ خاقان‌ زمان نگارش‌ فرموده خطب و اختتام و انتخاب کتب و بیاضهاست...‌
Explicit: و ثالثاً شرارت پیشها‌را که خرد رهنمای شان یره(؟)‌شده خلاص خود را در هلاک خود می‌ اندیشه بقانونی مهتدی کراند هر گاه حال این خیران مطمئن جنینی باشد او را کی خرسند و عم گیبی از سو دوزیان روی دهد و هر گاه امروز در دولت‌ ابد قرین مثل شما که در خدمات پندیده را خلاص بلند [و قدم و خدیست]...
Colophon: No colophon
Language(s): Persian

For three other copies of this work under variant titles held in the Rylands, see Persian MS 110, 490, and 499.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 210 folios, 3 flyleaves (ff. iii + 210).
Dimensions (leaf): × mm.
Dimensions (written): × mm.


Written primarily in 1 column with 15 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in clear black nasta‘līq with red subheaders.

Replaced folio 1a written in hasty black shikastah.

Accompanying Material

A detached bifolium from an unidentified Persian work on Arabic morphology (ṣarf).


Origin: Possibly completed in the Indian subcontinent; undated, but possibly 18th-century CE.

Provenance and Acquisition

While the circumstances under which this manuscript arrived in Britain remain unclear, British East India Company writer Robert Thomas Ives (1763–1786), the son of naval surgeon Edward Ives (1719–1786) whom in 1773 published an account of his voyage to India and overland return. Whether Robert also travelled to India and returned with the volume awaits confirmation.

Manchester bookseller J. E. Cornish subsequently acquired the manuscript from an unidentified source.

Purchased by the John Rylands Library in June 1926 from J. E. Cornish.

Record Sources

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2023, with reference to the volume, an unpublished handlist, accession registers, and a Persian description of the volume published by Tawfiq Subhani in 1993.


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.


    A. F. L. Beeston, Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstânî, and Pushtû Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Part III (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1954), pp. 54–55, nos. 2704–2707 [Bodl. Ms. Whinfield 19 &c.].
    M. Dirāyatī and M. Dirāyatī, Fihristgān: Nuskhahʹhā-yi Khaṭṭī-i Īrān (FANKHĀ) (Union Manuscript Catalogue of Iran), Vol. 31 (Tehran: Sāzmān-i Asnād va Kitābkhānah-i Millī-i Jumhūrī-i Islāmī-i Īrān, 1393 SH [2012–13 CE]), pp. 284–287 [Tehran, Parliamentary Library, no. 1320, &c.].
    H. Ethé, Catalogue of Persian manuscripts in the library of the India Office, Vol. 1 (London: Printed for the India Office by H. Hart, 1903), cols. 108–111, nos. 271–286 [British Library, IO Islamic 2985, &c.].
    D. N. Marshall, Mughals in India: A Bibliographical Survey. Vol. 1. Manuscripts (Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1962), pp. 34–35, no. 99(iii).
    C. A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Vol. III, Pt. 2 (London: Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1990), p. 276, no. 455(1).
    Tawfīq Subḥānī, 'Kitāb'hā-yi khaṭṭī-i Fārsī fihrist nashudah dar Kitābkhānah Jān Rāylāndz, Manchistir' Majallah-'i Dānishkadah-i Adabiyāt va ‘Ulūm-i Insānī n.s., Vol. 1, Nos. 2-3 (1372 SH [1993 CE]): pp. 174–175, no. 17.

Funding of Cataloguing

The John Rylands Research Institute and Library

The Soudavar Memorial Foundation


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