Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 34 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: This manuscript of the Dīvān of Ḥāfiẓ (ca. 1315–1390) contains variant ghazal lyric poems and quintains (mukhammasāt) but no quatrains and fragments typically found in other copies. While unsigned and undated, the text appears very bold and clear, with a delicately illuminated opening headpiece as well as markers indicating the start of each poem. Possibly completed in Greater Iran during the 18th century CE, a subsequent European owner had it uniformly rebound together with Persian MS 33, a two-volume Ottoman Turkish commentary on this work.
Title: Dīvān
Title: دیوان
Incipit: (preface) برگ ۱ر (folio 1a): از فروغ لعل میگون و دو چشم میفروش حافظ خلوت شین را در شراب اندا...
Incipit: (basmala) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): اَلا یا اَیُّهَا السّاقی اَدِرْ کَأسَاً و ناوِلْها * که عشق آسان نمود اوّل ولی افتاد مشکل‌ها
Explicit: برگ ۳۶۳پ (folio 363b): ای وصل تو اصل شادمانی * دایم بمراد دل بمانی * با حافظ خود بگوی عیانی * هر حکم که بر سرم برانی * سهل است ز خویش مرانم.
Colophon: No colophon.
Language(s): Persian

One of ten copies of this work held in the Rylands, for others see Persian MS 14, 50, 262, 263, 288, 563, 842, 945, 946, and 1001–1003 (3 vols).

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Textblock comprised of two types of externally sized and highly polished paper. The initial folios 1a to 33b of medium-weight, cross-grained, buff coloured sheets, possibly handmade in Greater Iran, with laid lines ~9 mm per cm and few discernible chain lines; thereafter, a medium-weight straight and cross-grained, ivoury-coloured paper handmade in Europe with ~9 laid lines per cm and ~33 mm between chain lines.
Extent: 494 folios, 4 flyleaves (ff. ii + 493 + ii).
Dimensions (leaf): 295 × 171 mm.
Dimensions (written): 250 × 120 mm.
Foliation: Inconsistent modern pencilled Arabic numerals added to the upper-left corners of the a sides of every ten folios, which commence on folio 1Aa, hence over by one.. Numbered verse markers also appear up to 300.


Undetermined, but possibly primarily quaternions. Catchwords throughout most of the lower-left corners of the b sides, some trimmed.


Text in good condition, with moderate staining throughout, primarily on the initial folios 1a to 33b.


Written in 1 column with 8 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in clear black nasta‘līq.


Illumination: Folio 1b bears a scalloped domed headpiece with gilt palmette foliate scrollwork on an ultramarine ground and an uninscribed central cartouche, and four vertical radiating lines.
86 × 117 mm.

Illuminated verse markers in the margins indicate the start of each poem, the first 300 with Hindu-Arabic numerals.

Ruling: Folios ruled in gold outlined with thin single interior and double exterior black lines, surrounded by single red and blued lines throughout.

Marginalia: Pencilled notes in the margins appear to be in the hand of former owner Nathaniel Bland (1803-1865).
Bookplates: Left pastedown: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with pencilled shelfmark ‘F/4’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 44’, with the name and number crossed out and ‘Persian’ and ‘34’ written aside.


Probably rebound in Europe uniformly with Persian MS 33 in the late 18th century CE for a former owner, possibly Count Karl Emerich Alexander Reviczky von Revisnye .

Endpapers made in Europe with ~11 laid lines per cm and 22 mm between laid lines, added at front and back, stiff-leaved with two types of European-made swirled marbled endpapers. Resewn on four cord suppports laced into pasteboards. Edges trimmed, coloured with bright red, with front-bead decorative endbands sewn in white and blue silk threads twined at head and tail. Covered in half British tan coloured calfskin with plain paper sides.

Spine decorated with 6 raised bands—two false—tooled on the bands with a floral scrollwork design, and abstract cockell shell designs for the centres and corners of each panel, then lettered
HAPHYZ. The titling, tooling at the tail of the spine, and the marbled endpapers all comport with Persian MS 33.

301 × 199 × 45 mm.

Handle binding with caution. In fair but stable condition, with corners bumped, delaminating, and extensive abrasions to the spine.


Origin: Possibly completed in the Indian subcontinent undated, possibly 18th century CE

Provenance and Acquisition

Michael O'Sullivan (p. 80 n. 132) identifies Count Karl Emerich Alexander Reviczky von Revisnye (1737–1793) as a former owner of the volume, who possibly had it uniformly rebound together with Persian MS 33.

While the circumstances under which this volume arrived in Britain remain unclear, scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865) acquired the volume from an unidentified source for his library at Randalls Park, Leatherhead.

After Bland's death, London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold his oriental manuscripts to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) in June, 1866, paid in two instalments of £450 and £400, and then moved to Bibliotheca Lindesiana at Haigh Hall, Wigan.

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, Manchester.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived from a manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s, concisely published as 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.


    C. H. de Fouchécour, 'Ḥāfiẓ', Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, (2018)
    Ḥāfiẓ, The Dīvān Translated by Col. W. H. Clarke, 2 Vols. Calcutta: Government of India Central Printing Office, 1891.
    Howell and Stewart, A Supplement to Howell and Stewart's Catalogue of Oriental and Oriento-Biblical Literature for 1827 Including the Most Extensive and Valuable Collection of Eastern Manuscripts Ever Offered for Sale (London: Printed by J. Moyes, 1827) p. 91, no. 4350.
    D. N. Marshall, Mughals in India: A Bibliographical Survey. Vol. 1. Manuscripts (Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1962), p. 168, no. 561.
    G. Ouseley, Biographical Notices of Persian Poets; with Critical and Explanatory Remarks... (London: Oriental Translation Fund, 1846), pp. 23–42, no. 2.
    C. Rieu, Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum, Vol. II (London: British Museum, 1881), pp. 627–632 [British Library Add. 7759, &c].
    E. Sachau and H. Ethé, Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstani, and Pushtû manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Vol. I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889), cols. 578–592, nos. 815–853 [Bodleian MS Ouseley 148, &c.].
    Tawfīq Subḥānī, 'Kitāb'hā-yi khaṭṭī-i Fārsī fihrist nashudah dar Kitābkhānah Jān Rāylāndz, Manchistir' Majallah-'i Dānishkadah-i Adabiyāt va ‘Ulūm-i Insānī n.s., Vol. 1, Nos. 2-3 (1372 SH [1993 CE]): p. 165, no. 4. [Rylands Persian MS 965]
    E. Yarsharter et al, 'Hafez', Encyclopædia Iranica, Vol. XI, Fasc. 5 (2002), pp. 461–507.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute


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