Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RSPA 59 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Jones Collection

Royal Society Arabic and Persian


1 copy of Javāmiʿ al-Ḥikāyāt by Sadīd al-Dīn Muḥammad ʿAwfī

Language(s): Persian

Incipit: حمد و ثنا مبدعی را که از بدایت صباح وجود
Explicit: سحر دامح جوانی بدانست داد و رها کرد با برفت
Colophon: تمت الکتاب

Qism 1 begins on f6v; qism 2 begins on f146v; qism 3 begins on f194r and qism 4 begins on f231r.

Ff5r-6v is a table of contents of the manuscript.

This manuscript is composed of three separate hands. The first four folios of this manuscript replace the lost folios from the original. These are of an eighteenth-century style. The middle section (ff5-263) is believed to be of the fourteenth century by Denison Ross and Browne. The final two folios are also replacements, and are also later than the middle section, but likely earlier than the first section.

There is a seal on f7r which dates to 1179AH (1765-6AD) under the name al-Ḥājj Muṣṭafā. There is another, highly stylised, seal on f231r.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: The first few folios are on a thin cream woven paper. The middle section is made up of a damaged thick brown woven paper and the final section a much lighter woven paper.
Extent: ff.iii+265+iv
Dimensions (leaf): 260 × 220 mm.
Dimensions (written): 215 × 150 mm.

European numerals in pencil at the beginning of the manuscript. Thereafter, Perso-Arabic numerals in pencil.


Mixed condition. Some damage to the edge of the folios.



The first hand is a neat black naskh. The second is a classic naskh script with rubrications and the final section is a messy black-ink nastaʿlīq-influenced naskh script.



There are marginal comments in a range of hands on almost every page of the manuscript.


India Office black half-leather binding with wine coloured marbled endpapers.

Accompanying Material


Origin: 14th 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.53-4 no. LIX


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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