Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 927 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: An incomplete copy of Nuzhat al-Qulūb (The Adornment of Hearts), a popular medieval cosmography of the world, which Ḥamd Allāh Mustawfī Qazvīnī (fl. 1330-1340) composed in circa 740 AH (1339–40 CE). It commences with an opening (fātiḥah) with an introduction (muqaddimah) on the heavens and a preface (dibāchah) on the inhabited world and its climes, followed by three essays (maqālah). The first describes the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, the second relates the qualities of humankind, and the third longest portion concerns geography in four sections (qism) on the holy cities of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem, the author's native Iran, neighbouring regions, and foreigns lands. Scholars today still reference the author's vividly detailed descriptions of many cities and regions. This volume regrettably lacks the final page and colophon which would indicate when and where the unidentified scribe completed it.

For another complete copy of this work held in the Rylands, see Persian MS 403. For English translations of the geographical and zoological parts, see Le Strange and Stephenson.

Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Dimensions (leaf):
Dimensions (written):





Origin: Undated

Provenance and Acquisition

While the circumstances under which the volume arrived in Britain remain unclear, barrister and Royal Asiatic Society librarian William Hook Morley (1815–1860) acquired it.

After Morley's death, London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold the volume, one of nine oriental manuscripts, on behalf of Morley's executors to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) on 17 Jan. 1867 for £2, 10 shillings (Note that S. Leigh Sotheby & John Wilkinson also list the volume in their catalogue for the sale of Morley's collection on 16 March 1861 (p. 67, lot 1052); in which the priced version of the catalogue indicates that someone named ‘Baumgartner’ purchased it for 9 shillings).

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, concisely published as Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2023.


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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