visit: royalasiaticsociety.org

Persian Manuscripts


The Royal Asiatic Society has several hundred Persian manuscripts. Three are on long-term loan at Cambridge University Library:  the Shahnama of Muhammad Juki, copied in Herat between 1440 and 1445 and considered to be one of the finest Timurid manuscripts of the 15th century; the Gulistan of the poet Sa’di completed in 1583 in Fatehpur Sikri; and an autograph copy of Kitab-i Mathnawiyyat-i Zafar Khan copied in Lahore in 1663. These manuscripts were digitized in 2017 with the support of Dr. Barbara Brend, and Professor Charles Melville, Dr. Firuza Melville, and the Pembroke Shahnama Centre for Persian Studies.

Please note that the digital library paginates manuscripts left to right, even when the manuscripts display from right to left. This means that the manuscripts start on the last numbered page, and progress with the left arrow takes the viewer with lowering page numbers to the end of the manuscript.

View collection as thumbnails

  • [RAS Persian 239] Shahnamah of Firdausi, of Muhammad Juki
  • [RAS Persian 258] Gulistan of Sa'di
  • [RAS Persian 310] The Masnavi of Zafar Khan