Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RSPA 42 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Jones Collection

Royal Society Arabic and Persian


1 copy of Dīvān-i Amīr Khusraw Dihlavī by Amīr Khusraw Dihlavī

Language(s): Persian

Incipit: باسم الله الرحمن الرحیم. ای ز خیال ما برون در نو خیال کی رسد *** با صفت تو عقل را لاف کمال می رسد
Explicit: این شغر ترکه بافت معانی از وکمال *** آمد ر آسمان بقش رویه الهلال
Colophon: تمت الترجیعات

The metres of the poems are usually marked. The manuscript begins with eleven ghazals dedicated to God. Folios ff4r-465v consist entirely of ghazals. Folios ff465v-469v consist of the tarjīʿāt. A tarjīʿ is made up of two or more stanzas of uniform length, each of which has a different end-rhyme.

On f469v after the end of the Dīvān, a note states that this manuscript was purchased in the month of Rajab in the second year of the reign of ʿĀlam-gīr. In the accompanying seal below the note, the year listed is 1169AH, meaning this converts to April 1756, the second year of ʿĀlam-gīr II's reign. The name in this seal appears to say Rām Anīẕ. There is another illegible seal next to it. On f1r, there are also four seals. One of these is from Aẓhar Khān Sayyid ʿAlī, above which are the words "al-Malik wa-l-Qābiḍ" in Arabic. Above this, the seal of Rām Anīẕ appears with the same date as this seal on f469v. There is another seal bearing the legend Sulaymān with the year 1176AH (1763) and regnal year four. A final, mostly effaced seal bears the name Maḥmūd with no date.

On f1v there is a moderately sized light blue and gold headpiece with a floral pattern, designed to evoke the shape of the Kaʿbah.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Strong cream woven paper with a very vibrant red edging.
Extent: ff.iv+469+iii
Dimensions (leaf): 240 × 170 mm.
Dimensions (written): 175 × 170 mm.

European numerals in pencil.


Good condition.



Elegant black ink nastaʿlīq with red ink subheadings.



There are infrequent marginal annotations in Persian in both the scribal hand and at least one other hand throughout the manuscript.


Red leather European-style Indian binding with gilded circular indented frieze pattterning.

Accompanying Material


Origin: 16th century CE ; India

Provenance and Acquisition

RSPA 1-118 were presented to the Royal Society in January 1792 by Sir William and Lady Jones. This manuscript was presented by Sir William Jones.

The Royal Society's collection of 280 Persian and Arabic, and 86 Sanskrit manuscripts were transferred to the India Office Library in 1876.


India Office Library

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on E. Denison Ross and E. G. Browne, Catalogue of two collections of Persian and Arabic manuscripts preserved in the India Office Library (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1902), p.30 no. XLII


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card for admissions procedures contact British Library, Registering for a Reader Pass. Contact apac-enquiries@bl.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript. For information on catalogues and ordering manuscripts see Finding and ordering Persian manuscripts in the British Library.

Funding of Cataloguing



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