Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 330 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: This composite manuscript, probably assembled in India, contains eight works on religious, linguistic and literary topics, written in Persian, Urdu, and Arabic, and copied between 1124 to 1237 AH (1712-1821 CE).

Language(s): Persian, Urdu, and Arabic

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Comprised of various handmade papers:
  • Folios 1a-7b (works 1 and 2): sized and polished, cream-coloured paper.
  • Folios 8a-41b (works 3 to 5): rough, unpolished paper.
  • Folios 42a-66b (work 6): polished paper.
  • Folios 67a-190b (works 7 and 8): unpolished paper.
Extent: 191 folios (ff. i + 191).
Dimensions (leaf): 240 × 170 mm.
  • Various partially legible notations on right and left pastedowns.
  • The first right flyleaf (f. ia), top-right quotes a quatrain by Abū Saʻīd ibn Abī al-Khayr (967-1049), while the lower-left bears a partially legible notation by a former owner, possibly dated 12 Rabī‘ II 1250 AH (18 Aug. 1834 CE).
Bookplates: The left pastedown: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelfmark ‘1/G’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 550’, with the name and number crossed out and ‘Persian’ and ‘330’ written aside.


Contents case-bound together in a contemporary hybrid style British-Indian binding. Sewn at two stations on cord supports, with edges trimmed and twined chevron endbands at head and tail. Covered in full red goatskin leather over pasteboards, with squares along the edges and without a flap (type III binding per Déroche). Cords put down on the board interiors then covered by pastedowns and connected to the text block with paper hinges.

Board exteriors decorated with blocked paper onlays featuring central central scalloped mandorlas bearing floral sprays, detached pendants, and corners in blind, with blind single fillet lines connecting them, and double fillet lines between the corners and bounding the perimeters.

Hand with caution. Binding in poor condition, with extensive abrasion to the exterior.


Origin: Probably compiled together and bound in India after 1237 AH (1821 CE), the date of the last work in the volume.

Provenance and Acquisition

Subsequently acquired by Persian scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865).

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

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.



Origin: 1124 AH (1712–13 CE)


Folios 6b to 7b
Title: Formulae to aid convalescence and sleep
Language(s): Persian


Folios 8a to 21a
Language(s): Persian, Urdu, and Arabic


Folios 22a to 36b
Title: Sāda Sarv
Title: ساده سرو
Language(s): Persian and Urdu


Origin: India; 1170 AH (1756–57 CE)


Folios 37a to 41b
Title: Selections of lines of poetry in Persian
Language(s): Persian


Folios 42a to 66b
Colophon: Folio 66a dated 14 Muḥarram 1222 AH (22 Mar. 1807 CE)
Language(s): Persian


Origin: 14 Muḥarram 1222 AH (22 Mar. 1807 CE)


Folios 67a to 98b
Title: Extract from an unidentified, autobiographical prose account.
Colophon: Folio 98bDated 1233 AH
Language(s): Persian


Origin: 1233 AH (1817–18 CE)



Origin: India; Rabī‘ I 1237 AH (Nov.–Dec. 1821 CE)

Additional Information

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived in turn from a manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s concisely published as Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish in 1898.

Manuscript description completed by James White in 2017.

Subsequently augmented 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.

Digital Images

Manchester Digital Collections (full digital facsimile).

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation, The John Rylands Research Institute, The Soudavar Foundation


  • Sufism
  • Talismans
  • Islam--Prayers and devotions
  • Urdu language--Dialects--India
  • Persian poetry
  • Poets, Persian--India--Biography
  • Poets, Hindi--1500-1800--Biography


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