Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 968 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: An incomplete, primarily metrical version of the romance of Prince Sayf al-Mulūk and the fairy Badīʻ al-Jamāl, redacted from the found in the famous collection of stories, Alf Laylah wa Laylah (The Thousand and One Nights).
Incipit: (beginning) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): این قصه هر که بخواند برو لازم است و واجب که بنام کاتب و مصنف فاتحه بخواند...
Explicit: برگ ۸۶پ (folio 86b): بجانب گلستان ارم دوست.
Colophon: No colophon.
Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Textblock of cross-grained, ivory-coloured paper probably handmade in the Indian subcontinent with ~8 laid lines per cm and no discernible chain lines.
Extent: 88 folios, 4 flyleaves (ff. ii + 88 + ii).
Dimensions (leaf): 250 × 175 mm.
Foliation: Unfoliated.


Undetermined. Catchwords throughout most of the lower-left corners of the b sides.


In fair condition, with moderate water and insect damage and historical repairs throughout. Edges excessively trimmed when restored.


Written in clear black nasta‘līq with subheaders in red.


Illustrations: Sixty-two illustrations:

  • 2a
  • 5a
  • 6a
  • 6b
  • 7a
  • 9a
  • 11a
  • 11b
  • 13a
  • 14b
  • 15a
  • 15b
  • 16a
  • 17a
  • 19a
  • 19b
  • 20a
  • 22a
  • 22b
  • 23a
  • 24a
  • 24b
  • 25a
  • 25b
  • 26a
  • 28b
  • 30a
  • 31a
  • 32a
  • 32b
  • 33a
  • 33b
  • 37b
  • 38b
  • 3bb
  • 44a
  • 44b
  • 45a
  • 46a
  • 46b
  • 47a
  • 47b
  • 48a
  • 49a
  • 50b
  • 51b
  • 56a
  • 58b
  • 61b
  • 64a
  • 67a
  • 73a
  • 75b
  • 76b
  • 78a
  • 81b
  • 82a
  • 82b
  • 84a
  • 84b
  • 85a
  • 86a Published: Rafiee-Rad, pl. 1.

Ruling: Folios ruled in gold outlined with thin black lines, and surrounded by another single line. The margins of folios 2b onwards ruled with single lines of ultramarine blue.

  • The right flyleaf a side (f. ia) bears .
  • Folio 1a inscribed with .
  • Folio 92b bears a note in English:
    ‘22nd Reg. This book was found in the loot of Hyderabad after its capture in February 1842. It was found in one of the palaces of the Ameers of Scinde’ (NB: the Battle of Hyderabad actually took place on 24 Mar. 1843).


Resewn with Italian laid endpapers, watermarked Al Masso manufactured by the Enrico Maganini in Pescia. Covered in quarter cloth with 'antique spot' patterned marbled paper sides.

250 × 180 × mm.

Binding in fair condition.


Origin: Probably completed in Someplace; on 4 July 1820 CE.

Provenance and Acquisition

According to a note on the final left flyleaf b side (f. ivb) indicates that members of the 22nd Regiment of Foot looted from an unidentified Amir's palace in Hyderabad, Sindh after their defeat in 24 Mar. 1843, when Maj. John H. Poole acquired it. Although Siavash Rafiee-Rad implies that Samuel Robinson of Wilmslow formerly owned this manuscript, we find no external nor internal evidence to suggest this.

Unknown. Probably transferred from the University of Manchester Library to the John Rylands Library after the institutions merged in 1972.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description derived from Siavash Rafiee-Rad, 'Persian Manuscripts in Samuel Robinson’s Collection in The John Rylands Library' 2017. Record created and manuscript description amended and enhanced by Jake Benson in 2022 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.


    H. Ethé, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the Library of the India Office, Vol. I (Oxford: Printed for the India Office by H. Hart, 1903), col. 521, no. 788 [Bodl. Ouseley 330/3].
    S. Rafiee-Rad, 'Persian Manuscripts in Samuel Robinson’s Collection in The John Rylands Library', Manuscripta: A Journal for Manuscript Research, Vol. 61, No. 2 (2017): pp. 245–248.
    C. Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. II (London: British Museum, 1881), p. 212 [BL Egerton 1018/1].
    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. 431, no. 460 [Bodl. Ouseley Add. 99].

Funding of Cataloguing

The John Rylands Research Institute and Library

The Soudavar Memorial Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute and Library

The Soudavar Memorial Foundation


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