Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 612 (The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: This anonymous and undated manuscript entitled Risālah-'i Tīrandāzī (Treatise on Archery), was likely completed in India in the late 18th century. The volume was formerly held in the royal library of the kings of Awadh in Lucknow and bears the seals of Nāṣir al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh (r. 1827–1837) and Amjad ‘Alī Shāh (r. 1842–1847). The same text, under a variant title of Qānūn-i Tīr Andākhtan (The Rules of Archery), is also found in a composite miscellany manuscript entitled Majmu‘ah-'i Rasā'il (Collection of Treatises) in the Bodleian Library, (Ouseley Add. 68, folios 421a–424a, see Sachau and Ethe's catalogue, no. 1241).
Incipit: (basmalla) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): تیراندازی اعلمو[ا] اولادکم الرمی یعنی بیاموزید ای امتنان من فرزندان خود را تیراندازی کردن و تیرانداختن اما استادان ما تقدم گفته‌اند هر که پی تعلم استاد تیراندازی کند حرام است .
Explicit: برگ ۱۵پ (folio 16b): بعد از چند روز زورتر باید کشید تا باز وقوت گیرد.
Colophon: برگ ۱۵پ (folio 16b): إنشا الله تعالى تمت تمام شد رسالهٔ تیراندازی.
Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Sized and polished naturally-coloured Indian handmade paper, with laid lines ~1.5 mm apart and no discernible chain lines. Endleaves of unsized and unpolished comparatively thin Indian handmade paper, with laid lines ~1.5 mm apart.
Extent: 16 folios (ii+16+ii)
Dimensions (leaf): 205 × 137 mm.
Dimensions (written): 185 × 106 mm.
Foliation: Foliated with pencilled Arabic numerals by the cataloguer on the upper left of each a side.


No catchwords.


The volume has suffered from water and mould damage and must be delicately handled. White salts (spew) on the exterior leather surface resulting from exposure to moisture.


Single column, with 4 to 9 lines per page.


Copied in a hasty nast‘liq hand in black ink.


Marginal ruling throughout, with double lines of red ink and a single line of blue ink frame the pages, with occasional horizontal single lines, also in red.

  • Inscription: folio iia,

    ‘ فارسی: رسالهٔ تیراندازی مصنف نامعلوم ’

    ‘Transliteration: Risālah-'i Tīrandāzī, muṣannaf nā-ma‘lūm

    ‘Translation: "Treatise on Archery, author unknown"’

  • Inscription: folio 1a,

    ‘ فارسی: سالهٔ تیراندازی ’

    ‘Transliteration: Risālah-'i Tīrandāzī

    ‘Translation: "Treatise on Archery"’

  • Inscription: folio 1a,

    ‘ فارسی: ۱۸ ربیع الاول سنه ۱۱۹۷ داخل شد ’

    ‘Transliteration: 18 Rabī al-Awwal sanah 1197 dākhil shud.’

    ‘Translation: Entered on 18 Rabī al-Awwal year1197 AH (21 February 1783 CE).’

  • Inscription: folio 1a,

    ‘ فارسی: ۲ ذی الفعده سنه ۱۲۰۳ داخل شد ’

    ‘Transliteration: 2 Ẕī'l-Qa‘dah sanah 1203 dākhil shud.’

    ‘Translation: Entered on 2 Ẕī'l-Qa‘dah year 1203 AH (25 July 1789 CE).’

  • Inscription: folio 1a,

    ‘ فارسی: اهتمام محمد بیگ سنه ۱۲۳۱’

    ‘Transliteration: Ihtimām Muḥammad Bayg sana 1231

    ‘Translation: Inspected by Muḥammad Bayg year 1231 AH (1815–1816 CE)

  • Bookplates: left paste-down, ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with shelf mark ‘1/J’, and ‘'Hamilton MSS No. 529'’.


Semi-limp full maroon goatskinleather binding, with medium brown paperpaste-downs.

214 × 145 × 5 mm.


Library seals of the kings of Awadh, intaglio-carved in nasta‘liq script in two stacked lines and impressed in vermillion ink on folios 1b and 18b:

  • 1: Rectangular seal of the library of Nāṣir al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh (1803–1837), King of Awadh (r. 1827–1837) dated AH 1244 (1828–1829 CE), inscribed with his title Sulaymān Jāh:

    ‘ خوش است مهر کتبخانه سلیمان جاه ١٢۴۴ ،بهر کتاب مزین چو نقش بسم الله ’

    ‘Transliteration: Khūsh ast muhur-i kitābkhānah-'i Sulaymān Jāh bahr-i kitāb; muzayyin chaw naqsh-i basmallah, 1244’

    ‘Translation: "The seal of the library of Sulaymān Jāh is good; it embellishes the book like the design of a basmallah, 1244"’

    17 × 37 mm.

  • 2: Rectangular seal, surmounted by the royal emblem of Awadh, of Amjad ‘Alī Shāh (1801–1847), King of Awadh (r. 1842–1847) dated AH 1260 (1844 CE):

    ‘ ناسخ هر مهر شد چون شد مزین بر کتاب خاتم امجد علی شاه زمان عالیجناب، ١٢٦٠ ’

    ‘Transliteration: Nāsikh har muhur shud chun shud muzayyin bar kitāb; khātim Amjad ‘Alī Shāh zamān-i ‘Ālījanāb, 1260’

    ‘Translation: "Every [prior] seal was cancelled since the book was embellished by the seal of Amjad ‘Alī Shāh in the time of his Sublime Majesty, 1260"’

    53 × 45 mm.



Likely completed in India during the late 18th century CE.

Provenance and Acquisition

Previously held in the royal library of Awadh in Lucknow, possibly as early as Nawāb Aṣaf al-Dawlah (r. 1795–1797), as indicated by various library notations on folio 1a, but definitely during the reigns of Nāṣir al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh (r. 1827–1837) and Amjad ‘Alī Shāh (r. 1842–1847), likely until the Great Rebellion of 1857.

Subsequently acquired by Colonel George William Hamilton (1807-1868) who served in India from 1823 to 1867, latterly as Commissioner in Delhi. He acquired over a thousand Indian and Persian manuscripts of which 352 were selected after his death for the British Museum that are now held in the British Library.

The remainder were purchased in 1868 by 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.

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. Emended and enhanced by Jake Benson in 2020 with reference to the manuscript.


The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader, see Becoming a Reader for details. Please contact uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript.


Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation and The John Rylands Research Institute



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