Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 970 (The John Rylands Research Institute and 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 ivory-coloured, sized and polished paper likely handmade in the Indian subcontinent


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


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

Presumably sold by Gentil before his death or by his family thereafter; however the circumstances of the volume's arrival in Britain remain unclear. Note that 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.


    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

The John Rylands Research Institute and Library

The Soudavar Memorial Foundation


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