Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 287 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: Ṣad dar (One hundred Doors) by Īrānshāh ibn Malikshāh, in New Persian verse. Originally completed by the author in 1494 as a versified version of a well-known prose text, it contains one hundred chapters on different topics pertaining to the Zoroastrian faith. Possibly completed in Surat> for British surgeon Samuel Guise, the volume curiously omits Chapters 23 to 65, with folios 17b to 33b left blank, but then it resumes with Chapter 66 onwards, which suggests that the scribe may have copied the text from a defective manuscript.
Title: Ṣad dar
Title: صد در
Incipit: (beginning) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): بنام خداوند ذات صفاست * خداوند فیض و خدای حیات.
Explicit: برگ ۵۶ر (folio 56a): بدین صد رای مرد فرخنده نام * عمل کر کنی دین یزی [یزدی؟] و سلام.
Colophon: برگ ۵۶ر (folio 56a): تمت تمام شد کار من نظام شد.
Colophon: Colophon undated and unsigned.
Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 57 folios (ff. i + 57 + i)
Dimensions (leaf): 199 × 119 mm.
Dimensions (written): 155 × 77 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in pencilled Arabic script numerals on the upper-left corners of the a sides when catalogued, with folio 25 duplicated.


41V+1(33)3IV-1(56). Quaternions throughout, with some repaired and replaced folios. Catchwords througout on the lower left corners of the b sides.


In good condition.


Written in 2 columns with 15 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Primarily written in a legible nasta‘līq script in black, with subheaders in red.

Replacement folios 17a–b written in a comparatively hasty nasta‘līq hand with shikastah ligatures in black.

Additions: Inscriptions:
  • The right pastedown bears possible bookseller's notes ‘12/-’ and ‘2/28’
  • The right flyleaf a side (f. ia) inscribed ‘Mr Lewin’, but not in his hand, alludes to former owner Samuel Hawtayne Lewin.
  • The right flyleaf b side (f. ib) bears a Latin description of the work in the hand of former owner Samuel Hawtayne Lewin, cites Hyde's Latin translation in Historia Religionis, along with other pencilled references to the same throughout the text.
  • Folio 1a bears several notations:
    • The title ‘صددد نظم’ in Persian at top-left.
    • The number ‘2’ at the top-left corner.
    • Signed ‘S. H. Lewin 12/, 1828, from Dr. Guise's Collection’ by former owner Samuel Hawtayne Lewin at top-centre.
    • ‘Nº 406. Sadder or 100 Doors in Modern Persian Verse’ in an unidentified hand in the centre
    • A Gujarati notation in the centre reads ‘Ketāb sadar najam iāne darvājā 100 sadarnāme dasturān dastur velāetnāṃjī tasnīf kidheli’ (‘The book Ṣad Dar Naẓm [i.e., 100 doors]. The Ṣad Dar nāme was composed by the High Priest of Vilāyat [i.e., Iran].’
    • ‘Nº 124 of D. Guise's catalogue. See Ouseley's Oriental Collections, Vol.’ in an unidentified hand.
Bookplates and labels
  • The right pastedown: ‘John Haddon Hindley’ and pasted bookseller's ticket ‘Howell and Stewart, 295 Holborn,London, successors to Ogle, Duncan, & Co.’; however, Sims-Williams, 'The Strange Story of Samuel Guise': pp. 206, 208 n48, no. 125 notes the 1828 catalogue omits this volume.
  • Left pastedown: ‘Bibilotheca Lindesiana’ with shelf mark ‘1/K’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 507’.


Possibly rebound for former owner Samuel Guise. Resewn on four raised cord supports, laced into the pasteboards. Covered in European-style, quarter spattered calfskin leather, tight-backed, with Stormont marbled paper sides.

204 × 124 × 15 mm.

Handle with caution. In fair condition. Top headcap on spine missing, board edges abraded, and opening to the gutter margins restricted.


Origin: Very likely completed in Surat; completed before 1792.

Provenance and Acquisition

Possibly acquired by Samuel Guise (1751–1811) in Surat before 1792.

After his death London auctioneers Leigh and Sotheby's sold it on 3 July 1812, where Manchester librarian John Haddon Hindley (1765-1827) purchased it for 4 shillings and sixpence.

After Hindley's death, London booksellers Howell & Stewart sold his manuscripts in 1828, from whom Samuel Hawtayne Lewin (1795-1840) evidently purchased it.

Subsequently acquired by Persian scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865), after whose death London antiquarian dealer 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 (1843–1908) in 1908 to the John Rylands Library.

Record Sources

Provenance description based on an an essay by Ursula Sims-Williams, 'The Strange Story of Samuel Guise: An 18th-Century Collection of Zoroastrian Manuscripts'.

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 2022 with reference to the volume in hand, and in consultation with both Ursula Sims-Williams, British Library, and Prof Daniel Sheffield, Princeton University, whom transliterated and translated the Gujarati inscriptions.


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.

Digital Images

Manchester Digital Collections (full digital facsimile)


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.