Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 160 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: This undated copy of the Vāqi‘āt-i Bāburī (Events of Bābur), the memoirs of Bābur (b. 1483, r. 1526–1530, founder of the Mughal dynasty in India, appear complete and well-written. Originally composed by him in Chagatai Turkish, the Mughal nobleman ‘Abd al-Raḥīm Khān, Khān-i Khānān (1556–1627) completed this paraphrased Persian translation in 998 AH (1590 CE) and presented it to the subject's grandson, the Emperor Akbar. The text commences in Ramaẓān 899 AH (June 1494 CE) with events during Bābur's brief reign in the Fergana Valley.
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): در ماه رمضان سنهٔ هشتصد و نود و نه در ولایت فرغانه پادشاه شدم...
Colophon: No colophon.
Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Dimensions (leaf): 257 × 157 mm.
Dimensions (written):



Additions: Bookplates: The left pastedown: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with pencilled shelfmark ‘2/E’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 382’ with the name and number crossed out and ‘Persian’ and ‘160’ written aside.



Origin: Probably completed in the Indian subcontinent; undated, but probably late 18th to early 19th centuries CE.

Provenance and Acquisition

Formerly owned by Turner Macan (1792-1836), Persian translator for the British East India Company, and instructor at Fort William College, who published the first critical edition of the Shāhnāmah of Firdawsī in 1829.

During a visit to Britain in Nov. 1833, Macan evidently sold an unspecified number of manuscripts to scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865) for £91, 3 shillings, and sixpence (see Bland papers, British Library, Add. 30378, no. 199), so the latter may have obtained this volume at that time. However after Macan's death, his family also sold some volumes in Calcutta (Kolkata) through the firm of Jenkins, Low & Co., but another subsequent sale by Evans in London on 12 Dec. 1838 omits this title.

After Bland's death, London Bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold his oriental manuscripts to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) in 1866.

Purchased by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford (1847–1913).

Bequeathed by Enriqueta Rylands in 1908 to the John Rylands Library.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived from a manuscript handlist by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s and his Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2023 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.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


Comment on this record

Please fill out your details.

How are we using your feedback? See our privacy policy.

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.