Persian-Language Manuscripts Now Online.

Good news from the Library of Congress:

In celebration of the Persian New Year, also known as Nowruz, the Library of Congress has digitized and made available online for the first time the Rare Persian-Language Manuscript Collection, which sheds light on scientific, religious, philosophical and literary topics that are highly valued in the Persian speaking lands. This collection, including 150 manuscripts with some dating back to the 13th century, also reflects the diversity of religious and confessional traditions within the Persian culture. […]

The unique manuscripts feature beautifully illuminated anthologies of poetry by classic and lesser known poets, written in fine calligraphic styles and illustrated. It includes the Shahnamah, an epic poem that recounts the history of pre-Islamic Persia. Also, it contains the most beloved poems of the Persian poets Saadi, Hafez, Rumi and Jami, along with works of the poet Nizami Ganjavi. […] In addition to the manuscripts, the Library will expand the Rare Persian-language Collection with lithographs, early imprint book and Islamic book bindings in the following months.

Keep up the good work!

Perhaps of more immediate use to those of us who don’t read Persian: Curated and Randomly Generated Selections from the Library of Congress. Every time you refresh, you get a new batch of links, so if something looks interesting it’s best to open it in a new tab if there are others you want to investigate. I was intrigued by the title “More borrowings,” and it turned out to be a collection of quotable quotes Compiled by Ladies of the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, California and published in 1891. Warning: time sink!


  1. Unrelated, but still likely of interest:

    The Persianate World: The Frontiers of a Eurasian Lingua Franca
    Book Talk by Nile Green, UCLA

    Wednesday, May 22, 2019
    4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
    Royce 314

  2. Wow, I wish I could be there.

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