Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 930 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: This brief, anonymous work entitled Risālah dar Tartīb-i Bāgh va Ashjār (Treatise on Gardens and Trees) concerns horticulture and arboriculture, tree cultivation and garden maintenance, reportedly translated from an unidentified Sanskrit text.
Incipit: برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): باغبان صنع الهی گلشن همیشه بهار را که عبارت از دنيا است.
Explicit: برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): دیگر چرکین طاوس را گرفته در پوست از کرماء پر کرده در خلاب تالاب دفن کند و تالابی آن اگر باران بادر احتیاج نیست والا آب بران می‌داده باشد و اینعمل (این عمل) در افتاب جوزا بکند جنگل نیلوفر پیدا شود از طلماتست.
Colophon: برگ ۱پ (folio 33b): تمت تمام شد نسخه ترتیب باغ و اشجار سنة١٢ روز پنجشنبه در ماه شوال بتاریخ بیست یکم
Language(s): Persian
Colophon: Enigmatic colophon stating completion of the work on ‘Thursday, 21 Shavvāl Year 12’ may refer either to a regnal year or possibly an abbreviation for a Hijri year, perhaps 1112 AH (22 Mar. 1701 CE).

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Comprised of ivoury-coloured, cross-grained, externally sized and highly polished paper, probably handmade in the Indian subcontinent with ~6 laid lines per cm and no discernible chain lines.
Extent: 42 folios, 2 flyleaves (ff. i + 42 + i).
Dimensions (leaf): 237 × 155 cm.
Dimensions (written): 175 × 93 cm.
Foliation: Foliated in modern pencilled Arabic numerals on the upper-left corners of the a sdies inclusive of the original endpapers.


Primarily comprised of quaternions. 5IV+2(42). Catchwords on the lower-left corners of the b sides throughout.


Text in good condition, with some staining, minor insect damage, and historical repairs.


Written in 1 column with 14 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in a shaky black nasta’līq hand with red subheaders.

Folio 1a bears the transliterated Persian title and English translation, possibly in the hand of former owner Alexander Lindsay, as well as ‘Nº 3’ at top and 5/ underneath.
Bookplate and Pasted Entry:
The left flyleaf b side (f. iib) bears a pasted bookseller's catalogue entry for the volume, which albeit similarly worded does not exactly match and appears possibly older than those published by bookseller London bookseller Richard Priestley (fl. ca. 1803–1817) in catalogues published between at least 1811–1817:
‘Tartibi Bagh o Ashjar. A Treatise on Gardens and Planta-
tions, translated from a Hindee Work. 1 vol.’
Left pastedown: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with pencilled shelfmark ‘2/I’, and ‘Persian MS 930’.


Sewn at two stations. Original endleaves of the same stock. Added Plain brown leather binding

240 × 159 × 25 mm.

Handle binding with caution. In fair condition, with extensive abrasion to the exterior and


Origin: Probably completed in the Indian subcontinent; ; enigmatic date in the colophon of ‘Thursday, 21 Shavvāl Year 12’ may possibly indicate 1112 AH (22 Mar. 1701 CE).

Provenance and Acquisition

The circumstances of the volume's arrival in Britain remain unclear, but London bookseller Richard Priestley (fl. ca. 1798–1839) offered it for in catalogues published between at least 1811–1817, the wording of which closely comports with, albeit not quite exactly matching, the pasted catalogue entry within the volume.

Subsequently acquired 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 catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s, concisely published as Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.

James White in 2017 with reference to the volume in hand.

Record and physical description subsequently augmented and enhanced by Jake Benson in 2022.


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.


    Richard Priestley, Catalogue for Books for 1811... (London: Printed by Henson, 1811), p. 324, no. 11172 .
    Richard Priestley, Part I of a Catalogue for Books for 1815... (London: Printed by Aldrard, 1815), p. 22, no. 723 .
    Richard Priestley, Part I of a Catalogue for Books for 1816... (London: Printed by Aldrard, 1816), p. 369, no. 13326 .
    Richard Priestley, Catalogue for Books for 1817... (London: Printed by Aldrard, 1817), p. 358, no. 12799.
    C. A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, Vol. II, Pt. 3 (London: Luzac & Co., 1977), p. 377, no. 635 (7).

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation, the John Rylands Research, and the Soudavar Foundation


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