May 19, 2022

New Digital Collection: 1,000 Years of Literary Tradition in Rare Persian-Language Manuscripts Available Online For the First Time From the Library of Congress

From LC:

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 Shirazi, Hafez and Jami, along with works of the poet Nizami Ganjavi.

One of the historic materials addresses the life of Shah Jahan (1592–1666), a ruler of India from the Mughal dynasty, during whose reign the Taj Mahal and other architectural wonders were built. Other items highlight a gold leaf map that clearly demonstrates how the world was viewed in the medieval Islamic period and Quran manuscripts with elaborate calligraphy.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.