Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

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

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: This brief, anonymous, and undated manuscript entitled Risālah-'i Tīrandāzī (Treatise on Archery) probably dates to late 18th-century India. It bears the seal impressions of Awadh rulers Nāṣir al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh (r. 1827–1837) and Amjad ‘Alī Shāh (r. 1842–1847), with earlier notations indicate that they likely inherited it from their forebears. The Bodleian Library holds the same text under a variant title, Qānūn-i Tīr Andākhtan (The Rules of Archery, MS Ouseley Add. 68, folios 421a–424a) in a composite manuscript entitled Majmu‘ah-'i Rasā'il (Collection of Treatises, See Sachau and Ethe, 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 15b): بعد از چند روز زورتر باید کشید تا باز وقوت گیرد.
Colophon: برگ ۱۵پ (folio 15b): إنشا الله تعالى تمت تمام شد رسالهٔ تیراندازی.
Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Sized and polished naturally-coloured handmade paper probably manufactured in India, with laid lines ~1.5 mm apart and no discernible chain lines. Endleaves of unsized and unpolished comparatively thin handmade paper from India, with laid lines ~1.5 mm apart.
Extent: 16 folios (ff. 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.


Two quaternions. 2IV(16)

No catchwords.


Handle with care. The volume suffered from water and mould damage which left the paper internally weakened.


Written in 1 column, with 4 to 9 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


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.

  • Folio iia:

    ‘رسالهٔ تیراندازی مصنف نامعلوم’

    Risālah-'i Tīrandāzī, muṣannaf nā-ma‘lūm’ (‘Treatise on Archery, author unknown’).

  • Folio 1a:

    ‘ سالهٔ تیراندازی ’

    Risālah-'i Tīrandāzī’ (‘Treatise on Archery’).

  • Folio 1a:

    ‘۱۸ ربیع الاول سنه ۱۱۹۷ داخل شد’

    18 Rabī al-Awwal sana 1197 dākhil shud ’ (‘Entered on 18 Rabī al-Awwal year 1197 AH [21 Feb. 1783 CE]’).

  • Folio 1a:

    ‘۲ ذی الفعده سنه ۱۲۰۳ داخل شد’

    2 Ẕī-al-Qa‘dah sanah 1203 dākhil shud’ (‘Entered on 2 Ẕī-al-Qa‘dah year 1203 AH [25 July 1789 CE]’).

  • Folio 1a:

    ‘ اهتمام محمد بیگ سنه ۱۲۳۱’

    Ihtimām Muḥammad Bayg sana 1231’ (‘Inspected by Muḥammad Bayg year 1231 AH [1815–16 CE]’).

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


Semi-limp full maroon goatskin leather binding, very likely covered in India, with medium brown paper paste-downs.

214 × 145 × 5 mm.

In fair condition; handle with care. Water and mould damage resulted in white salts (spew) on the exterior leather surface. Worn and abraded on the exterior. Loose sewing.


Library seals of the kings of Awadh, intaglio-carved in nasta‘līq script in two stacked lines and impressed in vermillion ink on folios on folios 1b and 15b:

  • 1: Rectangular seal impression ofthe library of Nāṣir al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh (b. 1803 r. 1827–1837) dated AH 1244 (1828–29 CE), inscribed with his title Sulaymān Jāh:

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

    Khvush ast muhur-i kitābkhānah-'i Sulaymān Jāh bahr-i kitāb; muzayyin chaw naqsh-i basmallah, 1244’ (‘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 impression, surmounted by the royal emblem of Awadh, of Amjad ‘Alī Shāh (b. 1801, r. 1842–1847) dated AH 1260 (1844–45 CE):

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

    Nāsukh har muhur shud chun shud muzayyin bar kitāb; khātim-i Amjad ‘Alī Shāh zamān-i ‘Ālījanāb, 1260’ (‘Every [prior] seal became cancelled since the book became embellished by the seal of Amjad ‘Alī Shāh in the era 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 (Oude) in Awadh (Oude), possibly as early as Aṣaf al-Dawlah (b. 1748, r. 1795–1797), as indicated by dated library notations on folio 1a, but definitely during the reigns of Nāṣir al-Dīn Ḥaydar Shāh (b. 1803, r. 1827–1837) and Amjad ‘Alī Shāh (b. 1801 r. 1842–1847). Presumably looted during India's First War of Independence, when British soldiers ransacked the Kaisarbagh palace and library on 15 March 1858.

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 from which the British Museum selected 352 after his death, now held in the British Library.

Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880), purchased the remainder in 1868 .

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 2021 with reference to the volume.


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.


    Bede Dwyer and Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani, "An Analysis of a Persian Archery manuscript written by Kapur Čand." Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas. Vol. 8, No. 1. (April 2013): pp. 1–12.
    W. F. Paterson, "Archery in Moghul India: An Illustrated Manuscript in the Collection of the Marquess of Bute." Islamic Quarterly. Vol. 16, No. 1. (Jan. 1972): pp. 81–95.
    Eduard Sachau and Hermann Ethé, Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstani, and Pushtû manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Vol. I. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889), p. 764, no. 1241, pt. 40.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute



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