Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 347 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: The first of two copies of the Tarjumah-'i Nād Purān (Translation of the Nād Purān) held in the Rylands (see also Persian MS 348). This Persian translation of an unidentified Sanskrit or Brajbhasha work on music originally entitled Nāda-purāṇa (Ancient Text on Music), describes the musical scales and their qualities, replete with many illustrative diagrams, along with a final section on the different rasa (taste, essence, aesthetics) and bhava (expressions) in classical Indian music.
Incipit: (basmala) برگ ۲پ (folio 2b): بیان حقیقت ناد بنیاد سر است بدانکه ناد بمعنی شبد یعنی آواز است.
Explicit: برگ ۸۰ر (folio 80a): چهارم هستنی ‌پر غصه و کنیه و رو پر شهوت کتاه قد و قربه اندام در خوارق خوبها چهارم حصه پدمنی باشد باقی موصوف باوصاف زمیمه این چهار قم نا یک و نا یک بر یک بمقتضای خوی حبلی وطینت نیک و بد چهار چهار قم در عالم می‌شوند در هر رس و هر کار مطابق طینت خود.
Colophon: برگ ۸۰ر (folio 80a): مستعد هستند تمام شد ترجمهٔ ناد ‌پران بتاریخ چهارم ماه جولای سنه ۱۸۲۰ اینگریزی بمقام اچانک.
Colophon: Completed in ‘Achānak’, probably Achanak (near Mansa), Punjab on 4 July 1820.
Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Textblock comprised of three types of British handmade paper:
  • Folios 1 and 1 ivory-coloured singletons watermarked with a sheild bearing a ram's horn with looped handle, surmounted by a coronet, with the initials GR underneath with ~1 mm between laid lines and ~24 mm between chain lines.
  • Folios 2 to 49 of pale blue paper made by Valleyfield Mills in Peniciuk, Midlothian which bear a Britannia watermark and countermarked Valleyfield 1815 with ~1mm between laid lines and 25mm between chain lines.
  • Folios 50 to 82 made by Molineaux & Johnston of The Pells of Lewes, East Sussex with Britannia watermarks and countermarked Molineaux & Johnston 1813 surmounted by triple plume with coronet (emblem of the Prince of Wales) with ~1.25 mm between laid lines and 27 mm between chain lines.
Extent: 82 folios, 4 flyleaves (ff. ii + 82 + ii).
Dimensions (leaf): 301 × 188 mm.
Dimensions (written): 238 × 125 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in pencilled Arabic numerals on the upper-left corners of the a sides.


Quaternions throughout. 10+2IV(82). Catchwords throughout on the lower-left corners of the b sides.


In good condition. Some staining and wear and the beginning and end of the text. Moderate repairs at the end.


Written in 1 column, with 15 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in a clear black nasta‘līq hand.

  • Folio 1a: ‘Asul-un-Nughmah: the origins of melodies or sounds’ which someone later crossed out and wrote underneath: ‘A work on musical sounds’.
  • Folio 79b: pencilled with the number ‘53907(?)10’.
  • Folio 82b: pencilled number ‘89+/2’.
Bookplates: Left paste-down: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelfmark ‘2/C’.


Rebound for Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford by Fazakerley of Liverpool, as per their stamp along the head of final left flyleaf a side (f. iva).

Resewn on four recessed cord supports, laced into the boards, with front bead double-core decorative endbands sewn in white and red silk threads at head and tail. Covered in European style, half-bound in dark blue morocco-grained goatskin leather. Sides faced with British-made dark blue moirée Spanish patterned marbled paper over-printed with gold veins. Endpapers of European handmade paper with ~1 mm between laid lines and ~28 mm between chain lines.

Paper sides bounded by gilt single fillet lines. Spine palleted with single fillets upon the bands and head and tail in gold with thick blind lines on both sides of the bands.

309 × 198 × 16 mm.

Binding in excellent condition. Gutter margins pierced three times where previously stab-bound.


Origin: Probably completed in Achanak (near Mansa), Punjab; 4 July 1820 CE.

Provenance and Acquisition

Subsequently acquired by scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865), after whose 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 (1843–1908) 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 catalogue 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 Dr. Katherine Butler Schofield, King's College London, regarding the text and its contents.


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


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