Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 970 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The Tārīkh-i Kashmīr, an abridged history of Kashmīr that Narāyan Kaul, known as ʻAjīz, completed in 1122 AH (1710–11 CE) on behalf of a Mughal nobleman, Nā'ib and Dīwān of the Subah of Kashmir, ‘Ārif Khān. He apparently reviewed Sanskrit sources that his patron had gathered, and a comparatively abstruse work under the same title completed by Ḥaydar Malik‏ between 1618 and 1621 CE, which derives turn partly derives from the Sanskrit Rājataraṅgiṇī (The River of Kings) composed by Kalhana in the 12th century. Admired for its simple style, the topics include the author's motivation for writing the work, on the name Kashmīr and its origin, the Mahārājās of India, the Muslim kings, the governors, as well as the commodities of the region.
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۱ر (Folio 1a): سپاس برون از مقیاس سزاوار جناب پادشاه پادشاهی
Explicit: برگ ۸۹ر (Folio 89a): احوال بایجاز تمام کشمیر
Colophon: برگ ۸۹ر (Folio 89a):
Colophon: Completed Ẕū-al-Qaʿdah, 1181 AH (March/April 1768 CE).

For another copy of this manuscript held in the Rylands, see Persian MS 820.

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Text block of ivoury-coloured, sized and polished paper likely handmade in the
Extent: 99 folios, flyleaves (ff. + 99 + )
Dimensions (leaf): 250 × 162 mm.
Dimensions (written): × mm.


Undetermined. Catchword throughout on the lower-left corners of the b sides.


Handle with caution. Text in poor condition.


Written in 1 column with 20 lines per page. Ruled with a miṣṭārah hand guide.


Written in black nasta‘līq script with red lines to highlight passages, or indicate breaks and full stops.


Quarter bound in black leather with paper sides.

Handle binding with caution. In poor condition

Folio 1a bears a rectangular black seal impression of the manuscript's patron, Jean-Baptiste Gentil (1726–99 CE), dated 1182 AH (1768–69 CE):

‘مدبر الملک رفیع الدوله جناب جنتیل بهادر ناظم’

× mm.


Origin: Completed for Jean-Baptiste Gentil (1726–99 CE), probably in Faizabad, Awadh (Oude); Ẕū-al-Qaʿdah, 1181 AH (March/April 1768 CE).

Provenance and Acquisition

Subsequently acquired by Manchester merchant and scholar Samuel Robinson (1794-1884), the author of Persian Poetry for English Readers in (1883). He bequeathed his collection of oriental manuscripts to Owens College.

Subsequently accessioned by the John Rylands Library when it merged with the University of Manchester Library 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.


The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader, see Becoming a Reader for details. Please contact uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript.


    D. N. Marshall, Mughals in India: A Bibliographical Survey. Vol. 1. Manuscripts (Bombay: Asia Publishing House1962), p. 369, no. 1375.
    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. 239–292.
    C. Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. I (London: British Museum1879), p. 298–299 [BL Add. 11631, Add. 24030, and Or. 186].
    Francis Richard, 'Jean-Baptiste Gentil, collectionneur de manuscrits persans', Dix-Huitième Siècle, No. 28 (1996): pp. 91–110.
    E. Sachau and H. Ethé, Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstânî, and Pushtû Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Vol I (1889) cols. 170–171, no. 318 [Bodl. Ouseley Add. 96].
    C. A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Vol. 1, Pt. 2 (London: Luzac & Co.1939), pp. 681–682, no. 877.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute


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